COVID-19 has showcased to enterprises the importance of digital transformation and the need to accelerate automation journeys to ensure business resilience, agility, and growth.
Business adversity can teach important lessons. According to Everest Group, enterprises that were well along their digital transformation journey when the COVID-19 pandemic began have fared far better than others in navigating the challenges of demand fluctuations, remote work, and addressing new customer experience expectations.
This realization is driving organizations to accelerate their automation journeys to not only ensure they are prepared for the next crisis but also to successfully adjust to the new normal. As a result, Everest Group predicts that the Intelligent Process Automation (IPA) market will achieve a compound annual growth rate of 40-50% through 2022, driven by the pent-up enterprise demand for automation.
Everest Group defines IPA as intelligent automation in business processes achieved through any combination of automation technologies such as robotic process automation (RPA) and cognitive/artificial intelligence (AI) based technologies (including natural language processing, machine learning and computer vision). The global IPA market, comprising the sourcing of IPA solutions and services*, surpassed US$4.5 billion at the end of 2020, a year in which growth was subdued due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The initial adoption of IPA was already underway prior to COVID-19. With widespread adoption of RPA and successful pilots of AI-based solutions such as Intelligent Document Processing (IDP), enterprises started to use RPA in conjunction with AI-based solutions and other ancillary technologies such as process mining and analytics. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, enterprises have increased focus on digital transformation and are moving toward widespread IPA adoption, looking to reduce reliance on manual processing in critical business functions.
In addition to pent-up demand, several other factors are contributing to rapid IPA market growth:
- Rising sophistication of IPA technologies, such as process mining and IDP.
- Higher availability of pre-packaged solutions and accelerators that provide quick time-to-value for enterprises.
- Increasing number of solution provider- and vendor-led initiatives to drive improvements in efficiency.
These findings and more are shared in Everest Group’s recently published report, “Powering Business Processes with Intelligent Automation–IPA State of the Market Report 2021.” This report provides comprehensive coverage of the IPA market and analyzes it across various dimensions, such as market overview, adoption trends, solution characteristics, services characteristics, and solution provider landscape, challenges, best practices and future outlook.
Selected Highlights from the IPA State of the Market Report 2021
- Implementation services account for around half of the IPA revenue; revenue from licensing proprietary and third-party solutions is increasing at a good rate.
- Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) continues to be the largest adopter of IPA solutions and services, followed by healthcare and pharma, consumer packaged goods (CPG) and retail, and telecom.
- North America is the largest adopter of IPA with 50% of the market share, followed by Continental Europe and the UK.
- IPA solution providers’ attention is split almost equally between RPA and cognitive automation.
- Solution providers are offering solutions across RPA, IDP, conversational AI, etc., while rolling out innovative offerings, such as RPA-as-a-service, to address emerging needs in the IPA market.
- Packaged solutions are gaining traction due to their ease of implementation and quick return on investment.
- As the demand for holistic automation solutions increases, strategic partnerships between service providers and technology vendors are expected to increase.
- Because of the travel restrictions imposed due to COVID-19, solution providers are expected to focus more on digital training by developing more self-paced training modules and certifications.
About Everest Group
Everest Group is a research firm focused on strategic IT, business services, engineering services, and sourcing. Our clients include leading global companies, service providers, and investors. Clients use our services to guide their journeys to achieve heightened operational and financial performance, accelerated value delivery, and high-impact business outcomes. Details and in-depth content are available at http://www.everestgrp.com
*This report does not cover IPA technology products that are licensed independently or embedded within broader BPO deals.