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GOA, INDIA: Global spending on robotic process automation (RPA) software is estimated to reach US$680 million in 2018, an increase of 57 percent year-on- year, according to the latest research from Gartner, Inc. RPA software spending is on pace to total US$2.4 billion in 2022.

“End-user organisations adopt RPA technology as a quick and easy fix to automate manual tasks,” said Cathy Tornbohm, VP at Gartner. “Some employees will continue to execute mundane tasks that require them to cut, paste and change data manually. But when RPA tools perform those activities, the error-margin shrinks and data quality increases.”

The biggest adopters of RPA today include banks, insurance companies, utilities and telecommunications companies. “Typically, these organisations struggle to knit together the different elements of their accounting and HR systems, and are turning to RPA solutions to automate an existing manual task or process, or automate the functionality of legacy systems,” said Ms. Tornbohm.

Gartner analysts are discussing how to exploit RPA for better business outcomes during Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, which is taking place from 13 to 16 November in Goa, India.

RPA tools mimic the “manual” path a human worker would take to complete a task, using a combination of user interface interaction describer technologies. The market provides a broad range of solutions with tools either operating on individual desktops or enterprise servers.

Gartner estimates that 60 percent of organisations with a revenue of more than US$1 billion will have deployed RPA tools by the end of the year. By the end of 2022, 85 percent of large and very large organisations will have deployed some form of RPA. “The growth in adoption will be driven by average RPA prices decreasing by approximately 10 percent to 15 percent by 2019, but also because organisations expect to achieve better business outcomes with the technology, such as reduced costs, increased accuracy and improved compliance,” added Ms. Tornbohm.

In addition, another market movement is emerging — the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) functionalities into the product suite. This is happening because RPA providers add or integrate machine learning and AI technology to deliver more types of automation.

Evaluate First Before Any RPA Deployment Project

In order to make an RPA project a success, leaders must first evaluate the possible use cases for RPA in their organisation and also focus on revenue-generating activities. “Do not just focus on RPA to reduce labor costs,” Ms. Tornbohm said. “Set clear expectations of what the tools can do and how your organisation can use them to support digital transformation as part of an automation strategy.”

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