May 26, 2022

Robotic process automation (RPA) was all the rage last year as we brought market leader UiPath to market with a big valuation, while bigger and more established players started picking smaller vendors. However, RPA has always been seen as a stop-gap solution for automating legacy processes before moving on to a more intelligent no-code approach.

The latest data from Forrester Research confirms this: the RPA software market is projected to reach $6.5 billion by 2025, but with the caveat that growth will start to slow next year as companies move more. AI-powered automation solution.

In its latest RPA market report, the company wrote: “While we expect the large-scale market growth in 2021 to continue in 2022, due to the pandemic-driven demand for automation and ongoing digital transformation programs, the pace of growth will come to a halt in 2023. happen.”

While $6.5 billion is a significant increase from what was reported in 2018, when the company predicted the market would hit $1.1 billion in 2019, it’s still a pretty small number overall when you consider that Salesforce just turned a profit. reported over $7 billion in revenue.

The market share of services that help implement these complex solutions is expected to grow much faster than revenue from RPA software. According to Forrester, RPA-related services could reach $16 billion by 2025, nearly three times as much as the software that helps implement them. When you combine services and software, it will be an even more impressive $25 billion market by 2025.

Forrester Research chart showing the growth of the RPA market over the next 4 years.

image credit: Forrester research

Forrester analyst Leslie Joseph explained service revenue as follows: “Service revenue calculates the revenue that service providers earn by providing advice, development, implementation, maintenance, and support for these products.” Service providers include global system integrators, consulting and consulting firms such as Accenture, IBM, and EY, who may be RPA software partners or resellers.

Forrester predicts that some of the money that goes into RPA software today will go to broader AI automation solutions. It’s worth noting that although RPA has robotics in its name, it’s not really AI in the true sense of the word. In this case, bots are more like scripts that perform a series of very manual tasks. In comparison, no-code automation solutions probably make it easier to create workflows without outside help. AI allows you to intelligently perform tasks and perform actions based on data, rather than performing a series of well-defined, hard-coded tasks.

The decline comes despite investor enthusiasm for a market that valued UiPath at $35 billion last year when it raised $750 million in its last private fundraising pre-IPO last year. Today, the company’s market capitalization is close to $15 billion, which is certainly a significant drop in value, even if you take into account the large software companies that went public last year.

Meanwhile, we’ve also seen significant consolidation as companies like SAP bought Signavio, Service Now bought Intellibot, and Salesforce kept ServiceTrace, for example. Blue Prism, one of the top three RPA providers, accepted a $1.6 billion offer from SS&C after rejecting the offer along with Vista Equity Partners. The deal is expected to close at the end of this month.

When gaming-updates interviewed five investors about the RPA market last year, we asked them specifically how RPA technology can stay relevant in the long term. For the most part, investors saw a market that could continue to grow, but if Forrester is right, the market could change as customers seek more advanced AI automation services.

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