What do robotic process automation statistics say about this much-hyped technology?
There’s a lot of buzz about robotic process automation (RPA).
Proponents tout its potential to make employees’ lives easier, simplify internal processes, and reduce the cost of internal operations.
But does the data back up this reputation?
Let’s find out. But before we begin…
A quick definition of RPA
RPA refers to software programs, or “robots,” that can be easily programmed to perform tedious, repetitive, or mundane tasks. Data manipulation is one common example — filling in forms, updating spreadsheets, and so on.
These software robots are distinct from AI, in that they cannot learn.
Instead, humans program them with a specific task, which can then be repeated by the robot as much as needed.
One real-world example is of a bank that deployed 85 bots to handle 1.5 million claims requests per year. This resulted in the equivalent of 200 full-time employees at 30% of the cost.
This type of ROI has fueled RPA’s explosive growth in recent years, but this example is just the tip of the iceberg.
Here’s the gist
We have collected nine robotic process automation statistics that exhibit the technology’s value potential.
When reviewing the statistics below, you’ll learn that:
- RPA delivers significant ROI, productivity gains, cost savings, and more
- Investment in RPA is exploding across multiple sectors
- In a few years time, RPA will become ubiquitous
9 robotic process automation statistics that show it’s exploding
Here are nine statistics that show RPA is an accelerating trend:
- RPA as an industry is growing exponentially – Forrester predicts it will grow from $250 million in 2016 to $2.9 billion in 2021
- Grand View Research expects growth from $358 million in 2017 to $3.11 billion in 2025
- According to Deloitte’s third annual RPA survey, a wealth of information on RPA, 53% of survey respondents are beginning their “RPA journey”
- Among respondents who are implementing RPA now, 78% plan to invest even more in the next 3 years
- Deloitte believes that if this trend continues, RPA will achieve “near universal adoption” in the next 5 years
- Among those surveyed, RPA meets and exceeds expectations in terms of compliance, quality, accuracy, productivity, and cost reduction
- Interestingly, Deloitte reports that employee resistance is low among adopting organizations – only 17% report resistance from employees.
- However, despite the drive and growth of RPA, scaling is still a challenge for adopters – only 3% of organizations have scaled to 50 or more robots
- One case study by SSCON found that scalability, however, was “unbeatable” – the robotic workforce could be “doubled almost instantly” prior to product launches
These numbers demonstrate that RPA is growing as an industry.
However, they don’t tell us about potential returns.
Is RPA worth the investment?
It’s clear that RPA is a growing trend.
The question on most executives’ minds is – is RPA worth the investment?
Other RPA statistics show clear benefits:
- Some have reported extensive ROI gains, such as Everest Group. In one study, they found that top performers earned nearly 4X on their RPA investments, while other enterprises earned nearly double.
- NASSCOM reports extensive cost savings of up to 65% for onshore operations, 30% in offshore delivery, and investment recovery in as short as 6 months.
- And the Institute for Robotic Process Automation claims that RPA software robots cost much less than human full-time employees – around one-fifth the cost of onshore workers and one-third the price of offshore workers.
Given these numbers, it is no wonder that enterprise investment in RPA is soaring.
RPA statistics show that funding is also on the rise
When examining the RPA industry, we can also look at funding for RPA companies to gauge the growth of this technology:
- UIPath has raised almost $450 million in funding
- Automation Anywhere has raised $550 million
- And Blue Prism (the company that helped coin the term RPA) will issue new stock to raise $130 million in funds
- Workfusion has received more than $121 million in total funding
- Other companies, such as Antworks and SaltStack, have received upwards of $15 million and $28 million, respectively.
An interesting aspect of Blue Prism’s story is its planned implementation of AI.
In the future, this could assist with more complex automation tasks, further enhancing the benefits of RPA.
This type of automation – intelligent automation (IA) or cognitive process automation – has many people worried about job replacement.
Others, however, claim that this frees humans from performing repetitive, mundane tasks. Instead, RPA gives them more time to perform more meaningful work.
Despite this controversy, the benefits of RPA are still driving its mass adoption.
RPA will gain an even stronger foothold in the near future
RPA is clearly growing at an accelerated pace.
Despite conflicting predictions about market size in the coming years, it is clear that RPA will become more and more dominant.
Today, a slew of companies are already using RPA – AT&T, Gamestop, and Verizon, to name a few. And smaller companies are following suit.
As the technology continues to grow, we can bigger RPA benefits, more scaling, and more possibilities.