What unites companies in this subcategory, is that the automation is done using a desktop UI - either on an end-user's desktop or more typically on a virtual machine. Workflows are built in an intuitive no-code platform, which typically doesn’t require any developer skills. According to Gartner, RPA remains the fastest growing category in enterprise software, with more than 60 software vendors now part of the RPA landscape and revenues expected to surpass $2 billion in 2021.
Key players and trends in the market: Talking about RPA in 2021, you cannot ignore UiPath’s incredible $38 billion IPO in April 2021. UiPath also acquired Cloud Elements, an API integration platform, which enables 200 new native integrations, as well as enables the triggering of an automation workflow based on the occurrence of an event. Needing to make an acquisition to achieve the latter capability showcases quite clearly that UiPath, despite being the global leader in RPA, still needs lots of development to be the true intelligent E2E automation platform they desire to be. Another interesting acquisition in this space was Automation Anywhere buying the process intelligence company FortressIQ, which will enable their customers to do process discovery to identify new automation opportunities. When looking forward, we expect these big RPA vendors to continue broadening their offerings - mainly through acquisitions. There will also soon likely be a pricing shift towards consumption-based pricing of software robots, driven by Microsoft Power Automate and new RPA players with lower price points, unlocking RPA solutions also for small- and medium-sized organizations.
Note: Although UiPath and Automation Anywhere are part of the E2E automation player category, we have decided to include them in this analysis since they are also the leaders in RPA.