Seizing the Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Opportunity

Today enterprises are challenged by tectonic shifts in nearly every aspect of their businesses – economic, technology, demographic, and consumer preferences to name a few. To help them meet these challenges, organizations are adopting technology and automation solutions to enable best-in-class Business Process Management (BPM) outcomes. One technology gaining rapid favor is Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

What is RPA?

RPA refers to automation which interacts with a computer centric process through the User Interface (UI) / user objects of the software application supporting that process. A robot is usually a runtime environment on which different processes/tasks can be executed. RPA can process structured and semi-structured data. Typical use cases include transaction processing, data entry in high volume, repeatable, and computer-centric processes, and in system upgrade scenarios where double and concurrent data entry into old and new systems during the period of change.

Opportunity Analysis- Accelerated Growth Potential

Global BPM revenues are around USD 177 Billion, of which RPA impact is in the range of USD 125-175 Million. While this number is currently low, the growth rates though are impressive- in excess of 100 per cent CAGR over the last two years and is expected ultimately to impact 30-40 per cent of total BPM spend by 2025. There is good reason for this robust adoption – RPA has a lot to offer: cost reduction of 35-65 per cent for onshore process operations and 10-30 per cent in offshore delivery; improved service delivery in the form of process quality, speed, governance, security, and continuity; an investment recovery period as short as 6-9 months; and, a generally non-invasive, easy-to-manage nature.

Regulated industries with high-volume, transactional business processes offer the most potential for RPA. Existing BPM buyers lead RPA adoption. While there are over 200 RPA customers across the world, with the US and large enterprises leading the share, there is a coopetition strategy at play within the RPA supplier ecosystem consisting of BPM service providers, RPA technology vendors, and specialist technology integrators.

  • BPM service providers have built dedicated teams for RPA implementation and support. About 10-30% of the technology FTEs with BPS teams are dedicated for RPA
  • Almost 100% of RPA implementation is being managed by the service providers themselves

Service providers are also hosting solutions on their servers / cloud-environment for delivering better value to clients


Roadblocks to Adoption

Of course, RPA is not without its challenges. Unclear or misplaced expectations, resistance from internal IT organizations, and inability to create a true Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) model are some of the key challenges in RPA adoption today. Finally, thinking of RPA as a stand-alone panacea rather than an important technology lever among several others also limit unlocking strategic value.

Implications on the BPM Industry

RPA has many wide-ranging implications for the BPM industry-

  • Both revenue and margins can go up for the BPM service providers, if leveraged strategically
  • The work mix will get skewed towards judgment-intensive processes and consequently, also drive up the offshore service delivery value chain
  • The traditional FTE-based pricing construct will give way to output / transaction-based pricing
  • The share of technology/automation-based revenues in BPM will increase significantly

The report “Seizing the Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Market Opportunity” examines the state of the RPA market today and its potential in the coming years. It offers a series of case studies across horizontal and vertical business processes and highlights lessons learned from early RPA adopters. This report also explores the “coopetition strategy” adopted by BPM service providers, RPA technology vendors, and specialist technology integrators and the various options it results in for a BPM buyer. Finally, it takes a look at the future implications of RPA on the BPM industry.

Download this free study from the NASSCOM website here-


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