RPA is one of the top players in business digital transformation, and brings significant benefits ranging from cutting costs to improving employee productivity. However, RPA implementation in most cases still takes months and requires costly maintenance. To improve this situation, RPA tech providers are building an RPA ecosystem:
- RPA companies develop RPA software and build RPA marketplaces to attract developers who extend capabilities of RPA
- Software developer publish reusable plugins on RPA marketplaces to monetize their software
- Consultants and system integrators implement RPA solutions using RPA software and RPA marketplaces
This guide aims to explain each part of the ecosystem so you know the full range of tools at your disposal as your company implements RPA solutions.
Why is an RPA ecosystem required?
It’s no surprise that RPA tech providers are building an RPA ecosystem. As in any successful technology such as automotive, operating systems, smartphones or cloud computing, RPA also requires an ecosystem to gain mainstream acceptance.
Most ecosystems have one of 3 critical parts: Applications, consultants, and innovative startups:
1. Application marketplaces
In case of operating systems and smart phones enable new capabilities customized for the needs of a specific group of users. Companies at the heart of ecosystems could also build these solutions themselves but that would take time and require expensive experimentation since many apps fail.
2. RPA consultants
Almost any tech solution that requires integration work creates its industry of integration partners. RPA consultants allow tech companies to focus on products and retain high margins. Implementation partners deal with the complexities of managing a labor intensive business and compete among themselves, ensuring that implementation costs are as low as possible for customers, reducing the obstacles to buying the RPA.
Microsoft, SAP and Salesforce all heavily rely on implementation partners because integrating their software into complex enterprise systems requires time and effort. They could take on the implementation themselves and they sometimes do this for top clients but doing all implementation work would create a massive, difficult to manage organization with low margins which focuses on implementation.
3. Tech startups
Tech solutions tend to be iterative and an important share of disruptive changes come from startups that disrupt existing technologies or business models. Since they are the leaders of the industry, companies at the center of tech solutions tend to
- focus on needs of the general market
- support existing, profitable business models
Therefore, they tend to generate incremental innovations, serving the general market rather than disruptive innovations that shape markets. In the mobile market, Google was the innovator in operating systems (OS). As a late comer into the mobile game, Google launched a free/open source OS that became far more commonplace than iOS, the OS that started the smartphone mobile OS category.
Which companies are building RPA ecosystems?
Additionally, emerging RPA companies are building innovative solutions serving different segments of the market. While they are not market leaders today, they could be the companies to define the market in the next 5-10 years. For example, Python is one of the most popular and fastest growing developing languages but RPA tools built with Python are relatively limited.
We examined the marketplaces so far, developers contributing to them and their traction in our article on RPA marketplaces.
What are the important parts of the RPA ecosystem?
The RPA technology providers, developers that build RPA applications and RPA implementation partners that use RPA technology and RPA apps to build automation solutions for companies. For more information on different parts of the ecosystem, please read our comprehensive article covering each part of the ecosystem:
- RPA tech providers
- RPA implementation partners
- RPA marketplaces
- RPA innovators: Companies building no code or self-learning RPA tools to speed up RPA development
And feel free to reach out:
Cem has been the principal analyst at AIMultiple since 2017. AIMultiple informs hundreds of thousands of businesses (as per similarWeb) including 60% of Fortune 500 every month.
Cem's work has been cited by leading global publications including Business Insider, Forbes, Washington Post, global firms like Deloitte, HPE, NGOs like World Economic Forum and supranational organizations like European Commission. You can see more reputable companies and media that referenced AIMultiple.
Throughout his career, Cem served as a tech consultant, tech buyer and tech entrepreneur. He advised businesses on their enterprise software, automation, cloud, AI / ML and other technology related decisions at McKinsey & Company and Altman Solon for more than a decade. He also published a McKinsey report on digitalization.
He led technology strategy and procurement of a telco while reporting to the CEO. He has also led commercial growth of deep tech company Hypatos that reached a 7 digit annual recurring revenue and a 9 digit valuation from 0 within 2 years. Cem's work in Hypatos was covered by leading technology publications like TechCrunch and Business Insider.
Cem regularly speaks at international technology conferences. He graduated from Bogazici University as a computer engineer and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.
To stay up-to-date on B2B tech & accelerate your enterprise:Follow on
Next to Read
Your email address will not be published. All fields are required.