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Gartner: RPA software market will continue to grow as business demand increases

The robotic process automation market is still the fastest-growing in the software industry, consistently outperforming other areas in the field

Robotic process automation (RPA) software is expected to see successive yearly growth as business demand continues to increase.

The revenue generated by the RPA software market will reach $2.9 billion (£2.3 billion) by the end of 2022, according to leading analyst house Gartner. 

This represents a 19.5% increase from 2021 - a figure that exceeds that of the overall software market which sits at around 16%. 

In 2021, the market grew 31% over the figures from the year before and growth is expected to continue throughout 2023 at a slightly decelerated rate of 17.5% year-over-year. 

RPA software has nothing to do with physical robots and instead refers to the ‘robots’ inside software that help businesses automate back-office functions that have traditionally been highly manual and often laborious.

Tasks that have typically required human workers to do repetitive tasks involving copy-and-paste ways of working, such as database population and data manipulation, are now being automated with RPA software.

The benefit to an organisation is that human workers can be reassigned to larger, more complex tasks that require human attention, but the technology has also raised fears regarding the outright replacement of human employees in certain roles. 

“RPA companies are rapidly evolving to provide a wider set of larger automation platforms,” said Varsha Mehta, senior market research specialist at Gartner.

“Organisations will look to increase their spending on RPA software solutions because they still have a lot of repetitive, manual work that through automation could free up employees’ time to focus on more strategic work.”

The market is largely driven by businesses in North America, Western Europe, and Japan, Gartner said, with the three regions accounting for 77% of the global RPA market revenue this year.

North America claims the largest share out of the three, accounting for 48.5% of the global revenue overall, with Western Europe contributing 19% of the global revenue and Japan contributing 10%. 

Gartner predicted last year that the vast majority of organisations (72%) will begin working with RPA software within two years and categorised the market as the fastest-growing in the software industry.

It believes that businesses are looking to embark on a journey towards hyperautomation - automating myriad corners of an organisation with a variety of different technologies such as RPA, artificial intelligence, computer vision, low-code platforms, and more.

By 2024, Gartner predicted that organisations will adopt three out of the 20 process-agnostic types of software that enable hyperautomation.

Its global revenue predictions for the software that enables hyperautomation far exceed that of RPA. Gartner said last year that it expects the market to reach $600 billion (£489.5 billion) by the end of 2022.

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