Robotic process automation is hot right now. Here’s one reason why. RPA is viewed as a shortcut workaround way to achieve the benefits of digital transformation incrementally, as each bot is implemented, rather than waiting for a multi-year migration or upgrade to be completed before realizing the benefits. RPA enables organizations to automate repetitive tasks that slow down work and workers.
Gartner says that RPA is the fastest-growing software subsegment officially tracked by the company, with year-over-year growth of 63%.
RPA software can be used to automate any number of tasks. For instance, it can move data in or out of third-party application systems, therefore serving as the rescuer of siloed information. That’s because it can connect the data of two applications that may come from two different groups inside a company or even two competing vendors. RPA can also extract information from documents or systems and prepare it for the workers who need it.
“There are a great many opportunities for RPA tools to deliver significant value to enterprises struggling to leverage a patchwork of existing systems,” Gartner said in its first ever Magic Quadrant report about RPA vendors and systems, published in June 2019. “At the core, they help organizations unlock the data and value associated with their historical technology documents.”
Forrester Research released its most recent Wave report for RPA last year, and in it the company noted that, “Application control features are now table stakes. Security, desktop analytics, multitenancy, design ease, and deployment efficiency make products stand out,” the company said in its 2018 report. But more sophisticated features are expected to emerge in the near future, according to Forrester.
“As RPA matures, analytics will dictate which providers lead the pack,” the Forrester Wave report states. “Vendors that provide text analytics, artificial intelligence component integrations, process analytics, and surface automation based on computer vision will position themselves to deliver successfully.
Another indicator of how hot the market is right now is the fact that two of the companies listed by Forrester and Gartner in their reports have since been acquired. They include Thoughtonomy (acquired by Blue Prism), Contextor (acquired by SAP).
InformationWeek has read the analyst reports, researched RPA company documents, and interviewed some of the top RPA providers. Here’s a look at RPA providers for enterprises to watch and consider.
Jessica Davis has spent a career covering the intersection of business and technology at titles including IDG’s Infoworld, Ziff Davis Enterprise’s eWeek and Channel Insider, and Penton Technology’s MSPmentor. She’s passionate about the practical use of business intelligence, … View Full Bio