What are the robotic process automation trends for 2021

The rapid shift to digital transformation saw years of innovation taking place in just a few short months in 2020 and shows no sign of slowing, as we enter 2021 and beyond.

As a result of the pandemic, companies across the globe decided to adopt new technologies overnight, that they might previously have been inclined to implement over a period of time.

Firms of all sizes and all sectors have decided to invest in technology such as AI, robotic process automation (RPA) to machine learning with intelligent automation, and other similar solutions, paving the way for future growth, through an agile, robotic workforce.

You just need to look at the speed in developing a Coronavirus vaccine and how advances in Internet of Things (IoT) technologies are making it possible to monitor temperatures of vaccine shipments in transit.

According to the latest forecast from Gartner, Inc, global robotic process automation (RPA) software revenue is projected to reach $1.89bn in 2021, an increase of 19.5% from 2020.

Despite economic pressures caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the RPA market is still expected to grow at double-digit rates through 2024.

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

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

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

The pandemic has 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,” said Cathy Tornbohm, research vice president at Gartner.

“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.”

Organizations are expected to grow their RPA capacity

Through to 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,” said Biscotti.

“This trend is a natural reflection of the increasing demands being placed on an organization’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 organization.

“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,” said Biscotti.

Martin Keelagher, CEO of Agile Automations commented; “As a specialist provider of bespoke RPA solutions, we have certainly seen an increased demand in robotics, and that of a complete service proposition, one, where a partner, such as Agile Automations, can work with a client, as a strategic partner, providing insight, scoping, solution, training and post rollout support, the client is never left unsupported.”

“The increasing rate of adoption is born out not only through Gartner’s research, but in how we are all seeing the changing face of the organisation, as we move in to 2021 and beyond. The agility and efficiency benefits of a Robotic Workforce, one which can be scaled up and down, in line with demand and need, we be something we see embraced across any number of sectors, moving forward.”

For the full report visit: “Forecast Analysis: Robotic Process Automation, Worldwide.”