RPA market sees explosive growth as firms look to automate more tasks

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One of the fastest growing segments of the software market is robotic process automation (RPA), and the sector shows no signs of slowing down. Organizations are increasingly attracted to RPA as a good source for automating routine human tasks that involve data.

Because of that, the RPA segment saw revenue growth of 31% in 2021, reaching a total value of $2.4 billion. Compare that to the global software market as a whole, which saw a 16% growth rate during the same time, he explained. Gartner Vice President, Analyst Saikat Ray.

Helping drive RPA’s growth is the fact that it has become “industry agnostic and truly horizontal across many verticals,” Ray told VentureBeat. “Although we have seen huge adoptions in finance, banking, insurance, contact centers, manufacturing and healthcare.”

There are three main trends that we can expect to see in the RPA sector in the next two to three years, Ray said:


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1. APIs complement screen scraping

“While RPA vendors have traditionally focused on automating tasks through screen scraping, new entrants to the RPA market, including integration vendors and large software vendors, are successfully promoting a cloud-based approach. in API for processes. automationRay explained. “In response to this increased competition, many pure-play RPA providers are continually improving their API integration capabilities so they can offer customers both UI extraction and API automation-first approaches. We have seen the emergence of broader automation platforms that offer a wide range of integration capabilities.”

To confirm just how competitive the RPA market is, Ray said that the vendor landscape is constantly changing. The market includes more than 60 vendors as of mid-2022 and has seen frequent mergers and acquisitions over the past year.

2. Fluid supplier landscape: frequent mergers and acquisitions

“The RPA market is growing rapidly and is constantly changing,” Ray emphasized. “Established RPA vendors are vying for position by evolving their products, while large vendors in adjacent markets are beginning to offer RPA capabilities.”

Gartner research finds that the 10 largest RPA vendors account for more than 75% of the market (up from 70% in 2021), with the three largest vendors still accounting for 52% (same as last year). The entry of large vendors such as IBM, Microsoft, Salesforce (MuleSoft) and SAP is rapidly transforming the market landscape, Ray explained. These mega-vendors are targeting their existing customer bases with aggressive offers and low entry prices.

3. Beyond RPA to hyperautomation

“Leaders in software engineering and business technologists are scaling beyond tactical automation to deliver greater efficiency, effectiveness and business agility,” said Ray. “RPA technologies play an essential role in hyperautomation — a discipline that helps combine multiple technologies in an orchestrated way to deliver intelligent, end-to-end, event-driven automation.”

What is RPA good and bad at?

Considering its rapid growth, there are some things RPA is good at and some it isn’t, Ray said.

good at doing

“RPA is a good tactical alternative to automate a routine human task that involves transcribing data between applications when APIs or other forms of integration are not available. RPA emulates human actions (keystrokes, mouse clicks) and follows the same sequence of activities to automate a task,” said Ray.

RPA at the core is an orchestrated screen scraping technology. Any business process that is high in volume and frequency, smaller in scope, low in complexity, and routine and predictable in nature can qualify for RPA, says Ray.

Additionally, RPA is most useful when used as the last mile of integration. That is, where an API or other integration methods are often not available for data transcriptions involving legacy applications, spreadsheets, proprietary applications, and/or complex ERPS/CRM. According to Ray, popular RPA applications are found in finance, accounting, human resources, management, operations, contact center, supply chain, procurement, and sales.

not good to do

“RPA is not that good at automating frequently changing applications and/or processes,” Ray said. “You cannot apply judgments and/or dynamic decisions. It is also brittle from the effect of screen changes within an application. For example, a SaaS-based application is typically not best automated through RPA. API-first strategies are recommended.”

Finally, an organization is more likely to be successful with RPA implementation through good data governance with a well-defined organizational structure, roles, and responsibilities.

“Technical resources should have skill sets to develop RPA scripts (typically .Net or Java/Angular JS and Python). Also skill sets to manage RPA orchestration tools, monitor and manage dashboards, infrastructure skills to deploy, troubleshoot and monitor execution times,” said Ray.

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