Pandemic pushes growth in robotic process automation

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Businesses around the world are automating many workflows, and the epidemic is accelerating the need for better, more integrated tools. Much of the push is fueled by remote workers who can work digitally without access to paper alone, making it the lifeblood of many office tasks. One of the key tools to increase this speed is robotic process automation (RPA) software, part of the increasingly unconnected mesh of automation that replaces the traditional workflow.

This insight was one of the main themes in Forrester’s new report surveying the marketplace for RPA software tools. The report shows strong growth that will take revenue to $ 22 billion in 2025, from $ 13.9 billion in 2021 to $ 22 billion.

Traditionally, RPA characters have been associated with software designed by the team to facilitate and streamline the flow of documents and other information. Many companies use tools to juggle scanned images of paper documents, such as tax returns or driver’s license images. Some use tools for accounting work, others for legal compliance, and others are looking for ways to simplify basic operations.

Forrester’s new report notes that the definition of the term is becoming unclear as the general market for automation continues to grow. As RPA tools improve, they are adding connections to other enterprise tools, which Forrester calls the “automation fabric market.”

“Embedding RPA into enterprise software suites or making RPA part of a broader intelligent automation play is a long-term trend as the enterprise creates a heterogeneous automation fabric,” the report reads. He adds that in 2022 alone, “5% of Fortune 500 companies will adopt automation fabric to drive automation-fueled business transformation.”

The term “robotic” is often confusing for some because it involves no physical devices. The term originated because most of the work was focused on physical paper, but the tools have become more sophisticated. Automation distributes newer versions of the workflow management tools from leaders such as Anywhere, Blue Prism and UiPath that use the item throughout the organization.

Tools are often seen as part of the low code or no code movement because they are designed to allow the average worker in an organization to create and modify a data pipeline. While the title “no code” is often a dream, there is no doubt that many corporations appreciate what they can achieve without a dedicated team of developers.

Forrester prefers to call these “civil process experts” and predicts that they will continue to play a major role in building and managing the flow of information. The report suggests that businesses leading in “understanding of processes, democratization and how to use automation” will be most successful in building effective RPA pipelines.

At the same time, Forrester indicates that the distinction between human and machine is becoming more obscure. Some tools called “process mining” effectively detect how data is already moving in the environment, making it much easier to duplicate with the new RPA tool.

“Digital assistants will work alongside humans, first learning how humans work with computers and then suggesting, constructing and operating automation,” the report said. “Reinforcement education will push the threshold of complexity of cases of use of automation while men will be in the driver’s seat. We want to offer small and medium-sized product vendors, especially basic digital assistants, a stronger vision. ”

As AI infiltrates the workplace, so does RPA

The RPA market is one of the stealth vectors for workplace intrusive AI. From the beginning, tools included a machine vision algorithm for scanning documents and converting them into digital representations. Newer versions include machine learning options for making intelligent choices, such as finding the invoice number on the form.

The bulk of the growth will come from RPA services, a marketplace that could grow to provide $ 16 billion in revenue by 25 22 billion in 2025. Forrester estimates that 60% of this money will come from adding new automation workflows to existing stacks. Consulting and supporting the rest of the existing installation.

Adoption should be highest in financial services, public sector and healthcare, the three groups are often fraught with paperwork and compliance challenges. Forrester expects the trio alone to make up 41% of the revenue.

While these sectors will continue to dominate, Forrester expects their market share to decline as industries grow faster. In the last few years, Finance and Accounting has grown from 36% in 2019 to 28% in 2021.

Most of the marketplaces should be in the back office as well, ”he said. However, there has been some growth in Forrester’s “front office” as businesses integrate automation tools with open websites visited by customers. There will be more documentation uploaded as customers feed RPA machinery more directly.

In the long run, Forrester envisions that integration like this will gradually end the growth in RPA specialized instruments. Larger, more comprehensive pan-business automation fabrics will absorb the workflow and RPA will become just one part of this larger business. Tools like chatbots, old data collections like customer management systems and new external options like data-a-service vendors will feed into this interconnected fabric.

The report predicts that “in 2022, through a combination of platform convergence, surface and core integration, humans will focus on sophisticated tools to streamline workflow and data flow between digital workers and AI agents.” He explains that “in the meantime, technologies such as process mining, chatbots and low code will become increasingly entrenched in these evolving platforms.”

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