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Gartner: RPA market to grow double digits over next year
Tue, 22nd Sep 2020
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Despite economic pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the market for robotic process automation (RPA) software is still expected to grow at double-digit rates through to 2024, according to Gartner.

Global RPA software revenue is projected to reach US$1.89 billion in 2021, an increase of 19.5% from 2020, according to the latest forecast.

In Australia, RPA revenue is expected to reach A$90.4 million in 2021, an increase of 20.8% from 2020.

In Aotearoa New Zealand, RPA revenue is forecast to pass NZ$7.5 million in 2021, a growth rate of 15.8%.

“The key driver for RPA projects is their ability to improve process quality, speed and productivity, each of which is increasingly important as organisations try to meet the demands of cost reduction during COVID-19,” says Gartner research vice president Fabrizio Biscotti.

“Enterprises can quickly make headway on their digital optimisation initiatives by investing in RPA software, and the trend isn't going away anytime soon.

Worldwide RPA software revenue is expected to reach $1.58 billion in 2020, an increase of 11.9% from 2019.

Through 2020, average RPA prices are expected to decrease by 10% to 15%, with annual 5% to 10% decreases expected in 2021 and 2022, creating strong downward pricing pressure.

The global RPA market is currently dominated by three vendors: UiPath, Automation Anywhere and Blue Prism.

COVID-19 Increased Enterprise Interest in RPA

The pandemic and ensuing recession increased interest in RPA for many enterprises.

Gartner predicts that 90% of large organisations globally will have adopted RPA in some form by 2022 as they look to digitally empower critical business processes through resilience and scalability while recalibrating human labour and manual effort.

“Gartner anticipates RPA demand to grow and service providers to more consistently push RPA solutions to their clients because of the impact of COVID-19,” says Gartner distinguished research vice president Cathy Tornbohm.

“The decreased dependency on a human workforce for routine, digital processes will be more attractive to end-users not only for cost reduction benefits but also for insuring their business against future impacts like this pandemic.

Organisations Are Expected to Grow their RPA Capacity

Between now and the end of 2024, large organisations will triple the capacity of their existing RPA portfolios.

The majority of “new” spending will come from large organisations that are purchasing new add-on capacity from their original vendor or partners within the ecosystem.

“As organisations grow, they will need to add licenses to run RPA software on additional servers and add additional cores to handle the load,” says Biscotti.

“This trend is a natural reflection of the increasing demands being placed on an organisation's ‘everywhere' infrastructure.

Future RPA Clients Will Come from Non-IT Buyers

Adoption of RPA will increase as awareness of RPA grows among business users. In fact, by 2024, Gartner predicts nearly half of all new RPA clients will come from business buyers who are outside the IT organisation.

“Leading RPA software vendors have successfully targeted chief financial officers (CFOs) and chief operating officers (COOs), instead of IT alone. They like the quick deployment of low-code/no-code automation. The challenge they have is integrating RPA successfully across heterogeneous, changing environments, which is where IT coordination can make the difference,” Biscotti says.