The 10 latest trends in Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

In everyday business, process optimisation is synonymous with time and cost savings, which makes it a key element of any corporate strategy at organisations and companies. With increased process efficiency, the term "Robotic Process Automation" (RPA) comes up more and more often as a technology that serves the high demand for automation and reduces the workload for employees. RPA has many advantages, including the ability to automate high-volume, repetitive, and process-based transactions. According to a study by Grand View Research, the global market for RPA software is expected to reach 30.85 billion US dollars by 2030, offering huge potential for businesses and investors. Read on to find out what trends the near future has in store for us!

#1 - RPA becomes a constant companion for the IT department 

Chief Information Officers (CIOs) in every company and organisation are responsible for improving IT performance. This includes identifying the latest technologies and tools that the organisation can use to become a digital leader. Implementing RPA is therefore an obvious choice. According to Deloitte's 2020 Global RPA Survey, 53% of respondents are already using RPA systems in the workplace. In the future, RPA will become a matter of course for CIOs who are a driving force of digital transformation.

#2 - Intelligent automation for cognitive tasks

Spreadsheet programmes such as Excel and the like already allow users to set up simple automations. In the coming years, however, intelligent automation, which is supposed to relieve the workforce of cognitive tasks, will be the centre of attention.

When we talk about intelligent automation, we are talking about a product of RPA and Artificial Intelligence (AI), which is revolutionary because it should enable organisations to delegate a significant portion of cognitive tasks. The result is tantamount to a significant increase in productivity with minimal errors and downtime.

#3 - RPA bots learn semantic automation

Semantic automation implies integrating an understanding of meaning into the programming language. With the incorporation of semantic automation, RPA bots will be able to understand processes and make internal adjustments within the programme to complete the workflow faster and more efficiently, thereby continuously optimising workflows.

#4 - Adoption of cloud-based RPA

The move to a full cloud-based RPA solution is arguably one of the most important RPA trends currently being seen. Most vendors provide on-premises solutions that can be used to build bots to automate routine and manual tasks. Now that more and more companies are storing their data in the cloud, RPA solutions will also be available there to facilitate quick system integrations and data access.

#5 - The rise of low-code platforms

Low-code platforms allow users and organisations to create apps and systems with minimal programming skills. The use of low-code platforms has increased in recent years thanks to the benefits they offer in terms of time, cost, scalability and risk mitigation. These benefits have led to new use cases such as:

  • rapid prototyping
  • rapid deployment
  • new product development

There are even platforms that offer drag-and-drop applications that completely do the programming for us. At the heart of such low-code platforms is RPA. By using a low-code platform, companies can create applications faster and cheaper and accelerate their IT projects. The rise of these systems will be a drastic reduction in effort for developers and non-technical people.

#6 - Non-technical industries and SMEs adopt RPA

The understanding that RPA is only applicable to a handful of industries, particularly in the IT and high-tech sectors, will increasingly prove to be a fallacy in the coming years. Especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) or public administrations will introduce RPA across departments. Compared to large enterprises, SMEs and small businesses already have the highest RPA adoption rate. RPA implementation is expected to grow strongly in the SME sector in the coming years.

The decline of off-the-shelf software and the global trend towards automation are factors that will make RPA attractive to SMEs and mid-market companies.

#7 - Training of non-tech employees

Due to the growing adoption rate, organisations in all industries are facing the challenge of training the workforce to use RPA applications. This training will create a digital workforce that can act as an intermediary between RPA workflows and human work demands, increasing an organisation's productivity and efficiency. Management will be more willing to invest in the RPA skills of their employees.

#8 - The emergence of CoEs for RPA

A so-called "CoE" (Centre of Excellence) is a centralised unit within an organisation that acts as a pioneer for a certain technology or has expertise in a certain area. In the coming years, more and more RPA CoEs will establish themselves as think tanks that recommend best practices and identify areas where RPA can be implemented to maximise gains.

#9 - Industry-specific RPA

Organisations in different industries such as healthcare, banking, IT, or manufacturing have specific automation needs based on their daily operations. Industry-specific solutions that can be adapted to the specific needs of these organisations will therefore be a focus for manufacturing companies in the future. This will be accompanied by an increase in the acceptance of this technology, especially in small and medium-sized enterprises.

#10 - Focus on integration

The seamless integration of RPA into the existing IT system architecture will become an increasing focus, as it is a key factor for rapid adoption. The increasing compatibility of RPA with the most common applications used by SMEs and large enterprises will further increase its relevance.

Conclusion: RPA has come to stay.

The use of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is continuously increasing and is becoming more and more important for companies and organisations to increase process efficiency and save costs. Trends in RPA include the integration of intelligent automation for cognitive tasks, semantic automation, cloud-based solutions, low-code platforms that enable rapid and cost-effective application creation, and the proliferation of RPA in non-technical industries and SMEs. As the market grows, RPA will be a staple in every IT department in the near future, enabling significant productivity gains and continuous improvements in workflows.