The need for empowering resources through technology is rising in tandem with the growing focus on automation and fully utilizing available resources. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is based on the notion of artificial intelligence workers or software workers that replicate the actions of human beings interacting with a computer system’s user interface. It is an emerging concept of clerical process automation and provides companies with a rule-based virtual workforce.
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Over the years, the spectrum of robotic automation processes has been evolving so as to meet the demands of dynamic business processes. The below graph depicts the evolution of RPA in different phases, namely RPA 1.0, RPA 2.1, RPA 2.2, and the latest RPA 3.0. It also portrays the business value offered by each phase to end-users.
Since its inception around 7–8 years ago, RPA has seen the most notable contributions in terms of tech advancement by Japan, the U.K., and the U.S. on account of their well-established technological infrastructure. The robotic process automation market is evolving rapidly against a backdrop of the increasing demand for accuracy and sophistication, growing investments, increasing awareness, and expansion in new markets.
Organizations offering services in different industrial verticals across the globe are significantly spending on technology. To understand the scenario better, companies have been segmented into beginners, intermediates, and leaders. As per our analysis, beginners spend approx. USD 1–2 million annually on RPA, whereas intermediates and leaders invest approx. USD 3–4 million and USD 10–12 million, respectively.
The below graph depicts the share of investments for the period 2017–2019 and highlights the contribution of each industry individually to RPA technology.
The IT and telecom sector is one of the key beneficiaries of RPA, and the BFSI and healthcare sectors stand to gain much from the technology by steadily replacing the data collection and management methodology.
RPA has created an opportunity for service providers in the aspects of deriving value from their established business models by delivering an effective and streamlined way to radically shift the way processes are managed across industries.
The IT and telecommunication industry is well-established globally. Telecom providers operate in a business environment that demands the fastest and most affordable cutting-edge services. They are burdened with large volumes of data associated with management, cost control, and business enhancement, business agility, and human resources, which prevents them from focusing on their core competencies.
The telecom sector is an ideal candidate for the adoption of process automation technologies, such as robotic process automation. The integration of RPA would help telecoms service providers in managing their back-office operations and dealing with large volumes of repetitive data and processes accurately, enabling them to focus on their core competencies.
The below graph depicts the growing adoption rate of RPA in the IT and Telecom sector for the period 2017–2027.
As RPA technology is foreseen as an ideal solution to curb outsourcing costs, countries of North America, Europe, and the Middle-East, including the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Germany, France, Italy, and GCC counties, are pegged to be high potential markets in terms of growth prospects in the robotic process automation market. These countries are highly dependent on countries of Asia-Pacific, such as China, India, Brazil, and the Philippines, for outsourcing.
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The abundant availability of cheap labor in Asia-Pacific and South America makes these regions lucrative outsourcing hubs. However, with the advent of RPA, companies are expected to stop outsourcing their operations and resort to a much cheaper option, i.e. RPA integrated systems. RPA would not only help business entities curb the costs of outsourcing but also offer them more desirable levels of accuracy, efficiency, and reduce time consumption on a single task compared to human labor.
The below graph depicts the estimated share of the robotic process automation market in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, South America, the Middle East, and Africa.
Some of the key players identified in the robotic process automation market are Nice Systems Ltd., Pegasystems Inc., Automation Anywhere, Blue Prism PLC, Ipsoft, Inc., Celaton Ltd., Redwood Software, Uipath SRL, Verinta System Inc., Premier Logic, Xerox Corporation, Arago Us, Inc., IBM Corporation, and Thoughtonomy Ltd.
Our analysis into the vendor landscape concluded that Blue Prism, Uipath SRL, Nice Systems Ltd., and Automation Anywhere lead the robotic process automation market at present. From a regional perspective, Automation Anywhere leads the market in North America and South America, whereas Blue Prism holds a significant share in the Middle-East and Europe.
Though RPA technology is gaining momentum and acceptance across the globe, it is still at the initial stage; thus, companies operating in the market are pursuing different approaches. For instance, market leaders such as Blue Prism and Automation Anywhere are shifting from perpetual licensing to monthly/annually subscription-based licensing models, which would help them introduce flexibility and increase client maturity. However, companies that are envisioning growth, such as Premier Logic, a digital transformation, and RPA service provider, prefer to offer managed services that help firms across the full RPA lifecycle with broader automation strategies.