Gartner estimates that global spending on robotic process automation (RPA) software will total $2.4 billion in 2022, up from $680 million in 2018. This increase in spending is primarily driven by the necessity for organizations to rapidly digitize and automate their legacy processes as well as enable access to legacy applications through RPA. “Organizations are adopting RPA when they have a lot of manual data integration tasks between applications and are looking for cost-effective integration methods,” said Saikat Ray, senior research director at Gartner.
Gartner predicts that by the end of 2022, 85 percent of large and very large organizations will have deployed some form of RPA. Ray added that 80 percent of organizations that completed proofs of concept and pilots in 2018 will aim to scale RPA implementations and increase RPA spending in 2019.
This shows that the technology is viable and has the desired effects. However, application leaders who are new to the technology should start with a simple RPA use case and work with internal stakeholders to identify more applicable processes.
Moving forward, Gartner expects more organizations to slowly discover that RPA offers benefits beyond cost optimization. RPA technology can support productivity and increase client satisfaction when combined with other artificial intelligence (AI) technologies such as chatbots, machine learning and applications based on natural language processing (NLP).
Consider the example of a client complaining that their invoice is showing the wrong amount. Chatbots engage with the client to understand the initial issue and delegate to a RPA bot to reconcile the invoice against the actual order entry record at the back-end. The RPA bot performs the matching transaction and sends the result back to the chatbot. The chatbot processes the RPA response and intelligently answers the client.
Up to Two-Thirds of iPaaS Vendors Will Not Survive By 2023
Although the market for integration platform as a service (iPaaS) shows strong growth, the first signs of market consolidation are starting to emerge. Gartner predicts that by 2023, up to two-thirds of existing iPaaS vendors will merge, be acquired or exit the market.
“The challenge for most iPaaS vendors is that their business is simply not profitable,” said Bindi Bhullar, senior research director at Gartner. “Revenue growth and increasing customer acceptance can’t keep up with the costs for running the platform and the heavy spending in sales and marketing.”
Megavendors such as Oracle, Microsoft and IBM are better-equipped to handle those challenges as they offer more-competitive offerings with more-aggressive pricing and packaging options than smaller players in the market. Gartner expects that this trend will continue, further diminishing the market share of specialist iPaaS players.
“For organizations looking to purchase an iPaaS solution, this is good news,” said Bhullar. “They can capitalize on the evolving market dynamics by solving short-term/immediate problems today, while preparing to adopt another iPaaS offering from an alternative vendor as the expected market consolidation accelerates through 2023.”
However, market consolidation means an increased risk that platform services will be discontinued due to the vendor exiting the market or being acquired. “Buyers should minimize exposure to vendor risk by adopting platforms that can deliver short-term payoffs, so that the cost of any eventual replacement can be more easily justified,” Bhullar added.