The hype around robotic process automation (RPA) continues unabated, as does the hypergrowth. I am happy to announce the availability of the first-ever Forrester Wave™ evaluation of RPA services. Forrester clients can read the report here.

The RPA market has shown some interesting trends of late:

  • As Craig Le Clair and I established earlier this year, a vast majority of clients struggle to scale their RPA initiatives. Prime reasons include challenges around business case development, governance, organizational alignment, and the lack of a cultural framework for managing automation.
  • RPA services providers include some of the largest global consulting and advisory firms, systems integrators, and business process outsourcers. They have been critical to RPA market development. In fact, a handful of the services firms that we evaluated are themselves among the largest customers (by number of licenses held) of the top three RPA tool vendors.
  • These service providers have large, complex relationships with their customers. They are often spread across several of their clients’ functional and geographical subentities. These relationships often allow service firms to have a much deeper stake in clients’ broader digital transformation goals and enable them to deliver automation not just for automation’s sake, but as a part of their clients’ business technology stack.
  • Several of these services firms are preparing for a multivendor RPA landscape by aggressively building vendor-agnostic platforms, frameworks, and analytics to support successful automation delivery. This makes for a very interesting dynamic, as it threatens the long-term position of the RPA tool vendors and pushes tool vendors toward greater commodification.
  • Finally — and importantly — nobody has it all figured out. RPA is still the shiny new kid on the block. The path to successful, scalable automation is still littered with trial and error, and nobody has written the gold standard yet.

With this context, I invite you to discuss the findings of the Wave with us. The vendors we evaluated are Accenture, Atos, Capgemini, Cognizant, Deloitte, EPAM, EY, Genpact, IBM, KPMG, PwC, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), and Wipro.

Meanwhile, my next report will focus on the golden rules for RPA success. If you have successfully implemented and scaled RPA at your organization, I am keen to discuss your experiences. Feel free to reach out to Craig or to me for an inquiry if you’d like to know more about the Wave or if you would like to talk about the themes therein.