Global spending on robotic process automation (RPA) software is expected to reach $2.9bn this year, according to Gartner, cementing the idea that the machines are here to take our jobs, but are thankfully focused on the boring, yet necessary repetitive tasks. But is this all about to change? Could RPA be about to be phased out, or does it still have a future?
According to Varsha Mehta, senior market research specialist at Gartner, providers of RPA software are now “pushing beyond a traditional single technology-focused offering to a more advanced suite of tools”. This includes low-code application platforms, process mining, task mining, decision modelling and integration platform as a service (iPaaS). The aim, suggests Mehta, is to create “hyper-automation-enabling platforms”.
Customers, understandably, want more bang for their buck. Big data has given organisations analytical headaches that, to a certain extent, are being eased by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). But where artificial intelligence and machine learning give organisations insight into operational and market patterns, customer habits and financial modelling, for example, RPA provides the “how”.