The future of RPA: on its way out or up?

an automation icon floating above someone using a laptop

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has been rigorously evaluated, and we now have a clearer vision of its future in 2024. As part of the Intelligent Automation (IA) umbrella — which includes Business Process Management (BPM), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Machine Learning (ML) — the question arises: does standalone RPA still meet expectations? Has enterprise-wide automation overtaken it or is generative AI pushing it aside?

As we enter the second half of 2024, let’s explore what to expect and look ahead to early predictions for 2025 with insights from Ten10.

What is the future scope of RPA?

RPA is already entrenched in many organisations, but its potential extends far beyond automating repetitive tasks. We’re just beginning to explore its capabilities. As we move into the new year, organisations will prioritise cost reduction, enhancing customer service, and improving security, governance, and compliance, particularly in line with evolving environmental, social, and governance (ESG) regulations. Generative AI will significantly impact RPA, driving further efficiencies and productivity improvements.

"Advancements in large language models (LLMs) and generative AI will streamline the development of automations and address complex, previously hard-to-automate processes."

Jon Woch, Managing Principal Consultant at Ten10

Is RPA still relevant?

The short answer is yes! RPA remains a valuable automation tool for front and back-office tasks. Enterprises are taking RPA to new levels, integrating it with AI to achieve comprehensive digital transformation. By merging RPA with AI and making it accessible to citizen developers, businesses can extract even more value from automation.

Is RPA here to stay?

"Platforms are increasingly emphasising seamless integrations to enhance user experience. By integrating RPA with Machine Learning (ML) and AI, we achieve not just task automation, but comprehensive end-to-end process management without human intervention."

Sean Bailey, Lead RPA Consultant

Will RPA become obsolete?

RPA is evolving from standalone solutions to broader platform offerings that include BPM, Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) and more. AI automation will feature more unattended processes, reducing the need for human intervention. Additionally, low-code or no-code tools will make RPA more accessible to non-technical users.

How big is the market for RPA?

The demand for RPA is growing as organisations seek higher productivity, cost savings, and improved customer experiences. Gartner predicts that by 2025, 70% of enterprises will engage in digital business model transformation services to implement analytics-driven business decisions and management capabilities. Furthermore, recent Lenovo research highlighted that businesses are increasingly investing in AI, with spending expected to grow by 61% year-on-year in 2024.

Will generative AI replace Intelligent Process Automation?

"Will generative AI replace Intelligent Automation? Absolutely not! Generative AI and intelligent automation complement each other. Generative AI delivers actionable insights and creates compelling content, while Intelligent Automation executes tasks based on those insights, orchestrating workflows, resources, and data."

Chris Thompson, Consultancy Services Director

What are the trends in RPA?

UiPath, a partner of Ten10, has identified seven key RPA trends for 2024:

  • Trend 1: The C-suite seizes AI’s value — with automation’s help
  • Trend 2: Select AI and automation use cases get hot, hot, hot
  • Trend 3: The transparent organisation comes into focus — end-to-end
  • Trend 4: LLMs power virtual BFFs
  • Trend 5: There’s a new jolt of “auto” in automation
  • Trend 6: Safe AI becomes a focus of action — and innovation
  • Trend 7: We begin the work of redefining work

What is the future of RPA solutions?

We are just beginning to tap into process automation’s potential. As RPA integrates more with AI, we’ll see a shift from automating simple, repetitive tasks to managing complex, end-to-end processes. With improvements in governance and security, highly-regulated industries like financial services and healthcare will increasingly adopt digital workforces.

Moreover, the future of RPA is becoming more accessible to business users. Low- and no-code tools will empower citizen developers to deploy automations, broadening employee skills and democratising RPA.

Success with RPA and IA requires a strategic plan

Whether you’re new to these technologies or experienced users, Ten10 can guide you through your automation journey to maximise benefits and achieve your goals. Read about our RPA Consultancy and see how our RPA Health Check and RPA Pilot services are setting the organisation up for long-term success.

Speak to our team today