Research & Whitepapers

Enterprise Adoption of RPA To Reach $2.5 Bn By 2020: Study

Industry-specific processes continue to see the highest adoption of RPA.

RPA security

Encouraged by a growing number of success stories and positive word-of-mouth publicity, enterprises are increasingly investing in Robotic Process Automation (RPA). In fact, Everest Group predicts that the number of robotic desktop automation (RDA) robots running on users’ desktops, assisting agents and employees, will be close to 2.5 million by 2020. In addition, by 2020 there will be 0.7 to 0.8 million virtual workers or unattended RPA robots running on cloud and on-premise servers. (Read the full report here)

Enterprise RPA adoption, as indicated by the number of enterprise clients served by independent RPA vendors, grew 100-110% from 2017 to 2018, surpassing US$1 billion, according to Everest Group. Two-thirds (68%) of the revenue earned in the RPA software vendor market in 2018 came from RPA software licenses. The remaining 32% was from professional services such as consulting, training and implementation. The market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 70-85% between 2018 and 2020 to reach approximately US$2.5 billion.

Although the RPA customer base is growing at a fast pace across a wide spectrum of industries, geographies, and organization sizes, the majority of buyers are still in an early adoption phase due to challenges faced while scaling up. Everest Group has identified the top five pain points enterprises experience when adopting RPA:

1. Lack of a robust RPA strategy and roadmap
2. Difficulty managing organizational change
3. Concerns about IT security and compliance
4. Lack of experienced resources
5. Difficulty identifying use cases to maintain a healthy automation pipeline

“Fortunately, the RPA ecosystem is evolving to address the scale-up challenges of enterprise adopters,” said Sarah Burnett, executive vice president and distinguished analyst at Everest Group.

“We see the technology overall becoming smarter and more robust with deeper capabilities thanks to advances in AI, machine learning, deep learning and natural language processing. Plus, vendors are making significant investments in improving the customer experience, making training more accessible, and expanding their solutions by partnering with service providers and technology vendors. And enterprises themselves are sharing best practices to help others advance more quickly along the adoption curve.”

The study shows that industry-specific processes continue to see the highest adoption. Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) and telecom accounted for over half of the overall RPA software market. Manufacturing as well as travel and logistics showed strong growth. It also witnessed significant traction among public sector organizations.

In terms of markets, North America holds the lion’s share of the RPA market, but APAC witnessed accelerated growth. Buyers consider operational impact to be the most important factor driving adoption, followed by cost impact, and buyers are satisfied with their vendors in these aspects.

Top technology trends to watch include online digital worker marketplace, predictive SLA monitoring, and workload balancing, the study said, naming that Automation Anywhere, Blue Prism, and UiPath are the top three vendors in terms of license revenue, closely followed by NICE. Pegasystems leads in terms of revenue from robotic desktop Automation (RDA)/attended RPA licenses, it said.

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