Channel partners building out robotic process automation (RPA) capabilities are set to capitalise on the “fastest-growing” segment of the global enterprise software market, according to new findings.
Research from Gartner reported a revenue increase of 63.1 per cent in 2018, creating an RPA market worth $846 million at a global level. In 2019, the analyst firm expects that number to reach $1.3 billion.
“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.”
Biscotti said the top-five RPA vendors controlled 47 per cent of the market in 2018, with the providers ranked sixth and seventh achieving triple-digit revenue growth.
“This makes the top-five ranking appear largely unsettled,” Biscotti added. “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.”
Although RPA software can be found in all industries, Biscotti said the biggest adopters are banks, insurance companies, telcos and utility companies. Biscotti said such 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,” Biscotti said. “By using this technology, organisations can quickly accelerate their digital transformation initiatives, while unlocking the value associated with past technology investments.”
Going forward, Gartner expects the RPA software market to "look very different" three years from now.
As explained by Biscotti, large software companies, such as IBM, Microsoft and SAP, are partnering with or acquiring RPA software providers, which means they are increasing the awareness and traction of RPA software in their sizeable customer bases.
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.
“This is an exciting time for RPA vendors,” Biscotti observed. “However, the 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.”