Few would have predicted the events of 2020, a year in which many have had not only their first experience of a global pandemic but also their first glimpse of dystopia. Just fifteen months ago, if anyone had dared to suggest the global economy would contract by 4.4% this year, they’d have been asked to close the door on the way out. All is certainly not doom and gloom for those in the Robotic Process Automation (RPA) industry. It is predicted that global revenue from RPA will increase by almost 20% next year. Here are the RPA trends we can expect to see.
We’ll be Seeing More From RPA
Unlike many industries, the trending RPA sector isn’t expected to take so much as a back step due to the pandemic. The future is positively rosy. According to the latest RPA trends forecast from Gartner Inc, 2021 will see global revenue from RPA hit $1.89 billion, increasing almost 20% this year. And by 2027, the RPA market is expected to reach $25.56 billion.
Why? Not only does the use of robots significantly reduce operating costs—something essential in a world of falling revenues—robots don’t develop flu-like symptoms and need to self-isolate. Rather than shy away from investment, companies—including 60% of global organizations with a turnover of more than $1 billion—have realized that within RPA lie some tools to minimize the risk of future crises.
In the next 12 months, we see a move away from attended RPA—simple, desktop automation that assists a human worker who can still jump in if the process fails—to unattended RPA. Running automated solutions without the involvement of humans is seen to mitigate the impact of any future crisis. A system that can run without the involvement of humans is, by its nature, pandemic proof.
Rather than operate robots on specific parts of a process, we see a greater role for automation in end-to-end processes. In the coming year, more and more work will be done to streamline work practices to the point where they can be considered for RPA. And once the quick wins have been delivered, businesses will look to more specialized applications for RPA, in which even complex processes can be fully automated. We expect to see hundreds of processes working together—on different levels—to provide automation from start to finish.
Specialization is the way forward. There are plenty of companies out there that provide generic desktop tools for RPA. Still, as the problems need solving increase in complexity, more and more experts who specialize in specific solutions will appear. And with the prospect of more than one RPA provider—also known as orchestration—the key to the future will have an open API hub to allow seamless and harmonious integration.
The RPA robots don’t take breaks or have weekends off and therefore work 24/7. Because every step they take in the process is based on a calculation, it’s significantly easier to locate an error than it would be in a manual process. As we start to see more and more adoption of RPA, we’ll see processes being fixed much quicker than they are today.
Increase in Control
In 2021, RPA will bring greater control over processes. If something needs to be changed when a new product, regulation, or service comes into play, it’s relatively easy to adjust with the right partner in place. Because the choices made by RPA are calculated, the automation rules can be changed very quickly. Similarly, if you want to add new or enhance existing processes, it’s just a matter of changing the code.