NelsonHall sees RPA and AI technologies resulting in major BPO market boost

NelsonHall forecasts strong growth of the Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and AI-based business process transformation market. Mainly pure-play BPO vendors with high domain focus and digital transformation specialists benefit. RPA will move from standalone implementation to a broader embedded digital process model as technologies move beyond RPA and AI, with among others BPM, SaaS platforms, deep learning, IoT and blockchain.

Will RPA and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies lead to the end of business process outsourcing (BPO) and offshore technology, as is now and then said with RPA and AI being immensely hyped?

According to leading sourcing market research expert NelsonHall it is quite the opposite. RPA and AI aren’t the end of the BPO industry but rather boost it.

According to NelsonHall RPA and new digital process models that are enabled by it are leading to the reinvention of services within existing BPO contracts but also to increased penetration of the retained and shared services operations within organizations.

NelsonHall emphasizes that business process transformation through RPA and AI results in a major boost for the BPO industry, rather than being the death of it and has the numbers to back these findings up.

The services market related to RPA and AI-based business process transformation is forecast to grow from USD701m in 2017 to USD8130m by 2022 says BPO research firm NelsonHall

The state of the RPA and AI business process transformation market

The research firm expects the total market of business process “reimagination”, which is the term that seems to cover the reinvention of services around RPA and AI technologies, will be worth little over $8bn by 2022.

“The emergence of these new technologies is supporting considerable revenue growth that is particularly marked in those pure-play BPO vendors with high domain focus, and the digital transformation specialists”, NelsonHall says.

Approximately 80% of RPA & AI-related business process transformation services are delivered from offshore

The services market related to RPA and AI-based business process transformation is forecast to grow from $701m in 2017 to $8,130m by 2022, a compound annual average growth rate (CAGR) of 63%, with high double-digit growth forecast across geographies.

At the same time, approximately 80% of RPA and AI-related business process transformation services are delivered from offshore.

Some other market evolutions from the ‘Business Process Transformation Through RPA & AI’ report announcement of BPO expert NelsonHall:

  • RPA is currently at the growth stage, with organizations now looking to scale across the organization.
  • Organizations now face the immediate roadblock in their automation journeys of handling classification of documents and processing of unstructured data.
  • New digital process models addressing process reimagination and end-to-end straight-through processing are emerging, but in their infancy, with adoption most advanced in the travel sector, followed by healthcare and P&C insurance.

The evolutions of RPA and AI ahead – evolutions and dynamics through 2022

NelsonHall also looks at the evolutions over the next four years and highlights some key evolutions.

According to NelsonHall, over the next four years:

Voice, image, and video processing will become key elements in handling unstructured data
  • Standalone RPA implementation activity will decrease, with RPA still critical but becoming the execution mechanism embedded within new digital process models.
  • There will be a major shift towards reimagination of business processes.
  • Technologies used will move beyond RPA and ML (machine learning) to additionally encompass BPM (Business Process Management), SaaS platforms, analytics, DL (deep learning) and new digital technologies such as IoT and blockchain.
  • External information sources will increasingly be used to supplement cognitive decision-making.
  • Voice, image, and video processing will become key elements in handling unstructured data.
  • The principal benefits sought from new business process models will be enhanced customer/user experience together with “minimal touch” straight through processing.
  • Design thinking for reimagination and UX consultancy will continue to increase in importance.
  • Domain skills will become dominant in the market for new digital process models.
  • The ability to develop a concentration of new digital process models within a domain will determine the future market leaders in that domain for business process transformation.
Business process transformation using RPA and AI typically undergoes an evolution within organizations from the application of RPA to largely “as-is” processes, to the application of RPA alongside increased levels of process streamlining and standardization, to the incorporation of NLP and ML alongside RPA to automate the ingest of unstructured documents; followed, finally, by a massive leap to reimagine processes and introduce new digital process models. Source and more information.

The full ‘Business Process Transformation Through RPA & AI’ market analysis by NelsonHall CEO John Willmott has been published on the NelsonHall website.