Gartner predicts that Robotic process automation (RPA) will reach $1.3 billion in 2019. In 2018, RPA software revenue became the fastest-growing segment of the global enterprise software market, it grew 63.1 per cent to $846 million revealed Gartner.
With software companies, such as IBM, Microsoft and SAP, partnering or acquiring RPA software providers, Gartner expects the RPA software market to look very different three years from now. At the same time, new vendors are seizing the opportunity to adapt traditional RPA capabilities for digital business demands, such as event stream processing and real-time analytics.
“The RPA market has grown since our last forecast, driven by digital business demands as organisations look for ‘straight-through’ processing,” said Fabrizio Biscotti, research vice president at Gartner. “Competition is intense, with nine of the top 10 vendors changing market share position in 2018.”
The top-five RPA vendors controlled 47 per cent of the market in 2018. The vendors ranked sixth and seventh achieved triple-digit revenue growth. “This makes the top-five ranking appear largely unsettled,” Biscotti added.
North America continued to dominate the RPA software market, with a 51 per cent share in 2018, but its share dropped by 2 percentage points year over year. Western Europe held the second position, with a 23 per cent share. Japan came third, with adoption growth of 124 per cent in 2018. “This shows that RPA software is appealing to organisations across the world, due to its quicker deployment cycle times, compared with other options such as business process management platforms and business process outsourcing,” said Biscotti.
Digital Transformation Efforts Drive RPA Adoption
Although RPA software can be found in all industries, the biggest adopters are banks, insurance companies, telcos and utility companies. These organisations traditionally have many legacy systems and choose RPA solutions to ensure integration functionality. “The ability to integrate legacy systems is the key driver for RPA projects. By using this technology, organisations can quickly accelerate their digital transformation initiatives, while unlocking the value associated with past technology investments,” said Biscotti.
Biscotti states that it is an exciting time for RPA vendors but current top players will face increasing competition, as new entrants will continue to enter a market whose fast evolution is blurring the lines distinguishing RPA from other automation technologies, such as optical character recognition and artificial intelligence.