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Automation Mega-Vendors: How to Navigate the Evolving RPA Market

3 min read
Feb 22, 2021 10:30:00 AM

At the end of 2020, we predicted that 2021 and the years to come would see significant acquisitions and mergers in the automation space. One such move has already happened with SAP acquiring Signavio at the end of January.

In their recent report, Predicts 2021: Accelerate Results Beyond RPA to Hyperautomation, Gartner has predicted the same. One of the strategic planning assumptions within the report states,

By 2024, one or more technology mega-vendors will build or acquire targeted hyperautomation technologies rendering 60% of the stand-alone RPA market offerings redundant.”

This naturally has significant implications for the market today as organizations continue to build their automation infrastructure with more complete RPA toolchains and technologies.

The State of the RPA Market Today

At the moment, there are multiple competing automation vendors in the RPA marketplace. To stave off the competition and develop an edge, these vendors are continually trying to address the various points of the automation value chain.

RPA providers are increasingly augmenting their cornerstone products with other tools and capabilities like process mining, process discovery, and analytics to supplement their core offering.

More automation vendors are also increasingly entering the market, providing even further options to organizations wanting to start their automation journey or look for an alternative. As we’ve predicted, account migrations – or at least the desire to move – will also be pivotal to the RPA market moving forward.

Regardless of the RPA vendors’ ability to add complementary tools and services to their offering, there is a considerable amount of customer disillusionment, largely driven by automation vendors who over-promised and under-delivered on RPA capabilities and ROI.


RPA vendors oversold the ease of implementation and their platform's ability to capture value, leaving customers disenchanted. It has resulted in customers looking to other RPA platforms and solutions like Blueprint that can remove the heavy manual burden and costs associated with RPA platform migrations.

How the RPA Market Will Evolve

Gartner predicts that the RPA marketplace will continue to include more automation vendors as new competitors enter the space, leading to an abundance of choice for customers. The expectation is that the new entrants will not be limited to small, agile digital disruptors.

Gartner foreshadows the possibility of tech heavyweights like Amazon and Oracle joining recent newcomers like IBM, Microsoft, and SAP in taking their slice of the rapidly growing automation market.

The logical expectation is that the automation mega-vendors will continue to build on their offerings with more critical capabilities along the hyperautomation value chain. Microsoft itself already has a robust variety of offerings in the form of Power Automate (RPA), Flow (API), and ingestion engine capabilities (computer vision and OCR).

The result will leave customers wondering how to proceed: do they abandon ship and procure the services of a mega-vendor or stick with their stand-alone RPA tools?

Learn more: The Technologies Shaping the Future of RPA

What it Means for You

According to Gartner’s recommendations, it’s important not to get lost in the automation vendor hype. Consciously navigating the different solutions available and coming to the RPA marketplace is all about navigating and understanding your needs.

Your choices should be based on functionality and your most critical process issues. Product differentiators must be at the core of your decision-making to determine how hyperautomation technology can solve your current automation challenges, mitigate your weaknesses, and enable your objectives.

Therefore, your focus as the RPA marketplace diversifies and new players enter the space should be: addressing your needs and how seamlessly any technology you choose to procure fits into or amplifies your existing RPA and enterprise architecture.

How the RPA marketplace will evolve is just one of the many RPA predictions that Gartner has outlined in detail in their report Predicts 2021: Accelerate Results Beyond RPA to Hyperautomation.

Download your free copy of the report here and discover all the other predictions Gartner presents and how you can use them to shape the future of your automation journey.

Gartner Report - Predicts 2021

*Gartner, Predicts 2021: Accelerate Results Beyond RPA to Hyperautomation, by Stephanie Stoudt-Hansen, Frances Karamouzis, Melanie Alexander, Laurie Shotton, Nicole Sturgill, Rajesh Kandaswamy, December 4, 2020

*Image source: Ralph Aboujaoude Diaz