Business investment in robotic process automation is set to soar, according to new research. We're talking a leap from a $216 million market in 2017 to a $870 million one by 2020.
The Telsyte ANZ Robotic Process Automation Study 2017 found robotic process automation, or RPA, has many uses across industries with large customer support and request processing requirements - industries like insurance, banking, telecommunications and government. Finance and insurance operations are expected to be the fastest early adopters.
The study shows that most organisations are still at the basic stages of adoption, but RPA is now being used or investigated by six out of 10 Australian and New Zealand organisations surveyed.
38 per cent of organisations with more than 500 employees already have an RPA program underway, a figure Telsyte says shows automation is "becoming a cornerstone of many business transformation strategies".
Telsyte Managing Director, Foad Fadaghi, says the business case for RPA is "clear", but "RPA is not simply about cost cutting."
"It can drive innovation and change the way organisation's conduct their business altogether," Fadaghi says, recommending organisations assess the processes to be automated by their level of complexity.
"Complexity has a positive correlation with automation costs and targeting lower-complexity processes initially can result in better initial returns," Fadaghi says.
The research shows 57 per cent of businesses surveyed would rather turn to an IT service provider for RPA - so if you're scared of a robot taking your job, this might be the area to skill up in.