The RPA industry: a glimpse into its future

IT and other business units will work more closely, will apply an agile and flexible approach to work, and they'll very probably have an AI software robot inside the company.

The RPA industry: a glimpse into its future

The future of IT is currently shaped by a set of forces, already in motion. Among these forces is automation, as you most probably already know. You can see that all around us, the latest technology evolutions allow employees to free themselves from routine tasks, while allowing C-suite staff to take efficient business decisions based on solid and accurate data analysis.

Automation is the star of these forces outlining the future of IT developments – with the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning, time-intensive work will become much less of a burden for the companies, allowing them to accelerate benefits and overcome the competition by gaining substantial speed and agility.

This is how I see it:

IT and other business units will work more closely, will apply an agile and flexible approach to work, and they'll very probably have an AI software robot inside the company creating the premises for the new business model of the future. Experimenting something new should be the motto for companies looking to succeed in the future of business technology. Business processes with enough data and driven by repetitive patterns should end up as AI-driven processes, improving everything else around them: the business outcome, as well as employee satisfaction.

Leaders need to become more comfortable with the decisions taken by the AI-powered solutions, as this technology is fast becoming omnipresent and the solutions conceived will be a useful novelty for humans all over the world.

In this context, the future looks bright for RPA and the latest trends seem to confirm it:

Market predictions and facts

According to Grand View Research, the global RPA market is expected to register a compound annual growth rate of 61% between 2018 and 2024. The estimation is based on the actual trend of combining RPA and AI for the predicted growth rate. Solely in 2017, the RPA services segment accounted for 70% of the overall revenue share market, while the consulting services segment accounted for 42.9% market share, raising a lot of awareness regarding automation software.

At a global scale, researchers at McKinsey & Company estimate savings between $5.2 billion and $6.7 trillion for companies experiencing (and experimenting with) RPA by 2025. The work done by robots is supposed to be the equivalent of 140 million FTEs by that date. Statista estimates the RPA industry revenues to be worth $3 billion by 2022, while Forrester estimates it at $2.9 billion by 2021.

The RPA market will become more sophisticated and prevalent. Also, it will continue to be dominated by the North American region, with Asia-Pacific registering a high increase rate in healthcare, IT, retail, telecom and BSFI industries. Meanwhile, Europe is expected to experience an increase in the manufacturing and burgeoning automotive industries (Germany, UK, Italy), according to AB Newswire.

According to UiPath, by the end of this year (2019), Europe will see an increased pace of automation through vendors widely spreading training programs or youth awareness programs, new uncovered marketplaces, while public sector entities will trigger a new wave of automation as well.

RPA has already met or exceeded expectations for 400 organizations worldwide, according to Deloitte’s 2017 survey: 92% of companies reported improved compliance, 90% reported improved accuracy and quality, while 86% mentioned increased productivity and cost reductions of up to 59%.

By this time, half of the Global 2000 companies are planning significant RPA investments to slash costs, while 53% of them are taking the idea very seriously, according to Horses for Sources.

The takeaway

Looking into the distant future, just the simple RPA - AI technology symbiosis is not going to be enough to push things forward forever. Some already support the idea of integrated automation1 platforms (a concept that is focused on data transformation improvements, like data digitization, contextualization or enrichment, before even starting to automate a process).

Incorporating analytics into automation is seen as the next level within the automation journey. Among the expected benefits: higher propensity of automation, higher levels of accuracy, quicker implementations and so on. Though final measurements are made based on cost savings, return of productive hours to the business, FTE reduction, number of deployed bots or generated revenue, the integrated solution approach is already used by 11% of automation adopters.

(e.g. UiPath, Automation Anywhere, Work Fusion) or continuously improving available products by incorporating AI, will sometime very soon bring the expected results and the 4th wave of industrial revolution will reach its peak in the following 7 to 10 years.

In the same time, software robots will become more and more sophisticated and will become so advanced that they will learn how to self-correct themselves according to their environment and the user’s behavior when interacting with various applications.

For myself and my team, I am sure that the multitude of lessons learned from different projects (successful or not) will bring terrific inputs for developing more stable and adaptable software robots. I believe that the path to a better integration of RPA solutions with the surrounding environment is not at all far away.

An article by our colleague, M. Ungur