RPA is the fastest-growing segment of the global enterprise software market
The worldwide robotic process automation (RPA) software revenue grew 63.1 per cent in 2018 to $846 million and is forecast to reach US$1.3 billion in 2019, according to a new report by Gartner.
Some RPA software vendors achieved triple-digit revenue growth rates in 2018, Gartner said.
“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.
Businesses willing to adopt RPA are spoilt for choices in the crowded RPA market.
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.
The top five included UiPath, Automation Anywhere, Blue Prism, NICE, and Pegasystems.
“This makes the top-five ranking appear largely unsettled,” Biscotti added.
Around the globe, 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 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,” Biscotti said.
According to Gartner, digital transformation efforts are driving 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, Gartner said.
“The ability to integrate legacy systems is the key driver for RPA projects. By using this technology, organizations can quickly accelerate their digital transformation initiatives, while unlocking the value associated with past technology investments,” said Biscotti.
Gartner expects the RPA software market to look very different three years from now. 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 sizable 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,” said Biscotti. “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.”