3 RPA Trends to Watch Out for in 2020

A Revolution is coming and it's called Robotic Process Automation

Over the past decade, the convergence of the cloud, analytics, and powerful machines has driven the development of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and expanded its use to many industries and business processes.

The numbers speak for themselves:

The global RPA market was valued at $1.1 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 33.6% from 2020 to 2027.

RPA is the fastest-growing in the enterprise software category.

Major players by the numbers

Some RPA providers have established a solid footing. Founded in 2001, Blue Prism is one of the earliest companies in the RPA market and claims to have invented the term Robotic Process Automation.

The leader in RPA, UiPath, was named the fastest growing technology company in North America in Deloitte’s 2019 Technology Fast 500. The ranking is awarded after an assessment of the fastest-growing private and public companies in the technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences, and energy technology industries throughout North America, based on fiscal revenue growth from 2016 to 2019.

UiPath has raised over $1 billion from leading investors, which pegged the company’s post-money valuation at $7 billion in April 2019. 

In 2018, Automation Anywhere raised $300 million from SoftBank, at a $2.6 billion valuation, and more recently announced $290 million in Series B funding, at a post-money valuation of $6.8 billion

Gartner’s 2019 Magic Quadrant for RPA software, its first such evaluation for RPA vendors, named UiPath as a leader, followed by Blue Prism and Automation Anywhere.

Global research firm Everest Group’s 2019 PEAK Matrix™ evaluation of RPA technology vendors, an unbiased assessment that does a deep dive into vendor performance and products, announced UiPath, Automation Anywhere and Blue Prism as industry leaders.

3 RPA Trends To Watch For In 2020 And Beyond

RPA Tools anticipates three major forces that will drive the development of the RPA industry in 2020 and the following several years.

1. Intelligent Automation (IA) approaches are expected to gain ground in 2020. Several economic developments and trends will likely fuel the use of RPA solutions across industries. A global economic downturn and pandemic risk management may encourage greater adoption of automation. Companies will try to standardize robots more effectively and apply them across departments.

2. New global entrants entered the RPA market over the past decade. Examples include U.S.-based Catalytic, South African-based LarcAI, and Australian-based CiGen. In 2018, ElectroNeek, a lower-cost RPA alternative emerged. Startups focused on more accessible, open-source technologies will continue to pop-up, such as Robocorp, which was founded in 2019.

The next wave of lower cost and minimal or no-code RPA startups will make RPA accessible to a wider range of companies and industries. It will be interesting to see the emergence of new RPA startups and the extent to which they will challenge their larger peers.

3. Quite a bit of consolidation can be expected both within the RPA space, and between RPA and larger technology markets. Early signals of market consolidation began over the past few years. In 2018, SAP acquired Contextor; in 2019, Blue Prism acquired the 2013 startup Thoughtonomy; in early 2020, Appian acquired Jidoka. Smaller RPA companies provide are ripe acquisition field for larger peers or new entrants interested in the RPA space.

However, the likes of UiPath, Blue Prism, Automation Anywhere, and others with high valuations may be too expensive to snap up.