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RPA market to surpass the billion-dollar mark this year

The worldwide Robotic Process Automation (RPA) software market is forecast to reach US$1.3 billion this year, according to a new report from Gartner.

The report highlighted the fact that the RPA market grew 63% in 2018 to US$846 million, and growth is showing no signs of slowing down, a fact that is true for most of the main markets around the world.

In fact, the growth of this segment in 2018 made it the fastest-growing segment of the global enterprise software market, according to the report.

Gartner research vice president Fabrizio Biscotti, says, “The RPA market has grown since our last forecast, driven by digital business demands as organisations look for ‘straight-through’ processing. Competition is intense, with nine of the top 10 vendors changing market share position in 2018.”

According to Gartner, the top-five RPA vendors controlled 47% of the market in 2018 and the vendors ranked sixth and seventh achieved triple-digit revenue growth. Biscotti says that this fact makes the top-five ranking appear largely unsettled.

Gartner highlights the fact that RPA adoption growth is largely being driven by digital transformation and its ability to ensure integration. It is primarily being adopted in banks, insurance companies, telcos and utility companies. However, the software can be found across all industries.

The markets singled out traditionally have many legacy systems and choose RPA solutions to ensure integration functionality, Gartner states.

Biscotti says, “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.”

He says, “This is an exciting time for RPA vendors. 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.”

According to Gartner,  the RPA software market will change significantly in the next three years. Large software companies, such as IBM, Microsoft and SAP, partnering with or acquiring RPA software providers, which means they are increasing the awareness and traction of RPA software. However, 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.

Of the global markets covered in the report, North America continued to dominate the RPA software market with a 51% share in 2018, but its share dropped by 2 percentage points year over year.

Western Europe held the second position, with a 23% share. Japan came third, with adoption growth of 124% in 2018.

Biscotti says, “This shows that RPA software is appealing to organizations across the world, due to its quicker deployment cycle times, compared with other options such as business process management platforms and business process outsourcing.”