Seizing the Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Market Opportunity

28 Oct 2015
by Rajesh Ranjan


Executive Summary

Today enterprises are challenged by tectonic shifts in nearly every aspect of their businesses – economic, technology, demographic, and consumer preferences to name a few. To help them meet these challenges, organizations are adopting technology and automation solutions to enable best-in-class Business Process Services (BPS) outcomes. One technology gaining rapid favor is Robotic Process Automation (RPA) – essentially defined as automation that can handle rules-based and repetitive tasks without human intervention, or unassisted automation.

Although the current BPS spend impacted by RPA is low, it grew at over 100% CAGR over the last two years and is expected ultimately to impact 30-40% of total BPS spend. There is good reason for this robust adoption – RPA has a lot to offer: cost reduction of 35-65% for onshore process operations and 10-30% in offshore delivery; improved service delivery in the form of process quality, speed, governance, security, and continuity; an investment recovery period as short as 6-9 months; and, a generally non-invasive, easy-to-manage nature.

Of course, RPA is not without its challenges. Unclear or misplaced expectations, resistance from internal IT organization, and inability to create a true Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) model are some of the key challenges in RPA adoption today. Finally, thinking of RPA as a stand-alone panacea rather than an important technology lever among several others also limit unlocking strategic value.

RPA has many wide-ranging implications for the BPS industry. Notwithstanding short-term pain of transition, if leveraged strategically, it can have a positive impact on BPS service provider revenue and operating margins in the medium-to-long term. Of course, this would significantly increase share of automation / technology-based revenues in BPS. The talent pyramid and mix in the BPS industry will likely change and so are the commercial constructs.

This report “Seizing the Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Market Opportunity” examines the state of the RPA market today and its potential in the coming years. It offers a series of case studies across horizontal and vertical business processes and highlights lessons learned from early RPA adopters. This report also explores the “coopetition strategy” adopted by BPS service providers, RPA technology vendors, and specialist technology integrators and the various options it results in for a BPS buyer. Finally, it takes a look at the future implications of RPA on the BPS industry.


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