Successfully automating will not necessarily be automatically successful
What is Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Software?
Robotic process automation (RPA) software utilizes bots to automate routine tasks within software applications normally performed by a company’s employees. These products are used to save time and eliminate the need for human employees to conduct tedious, repetitive, and time-consuming tasks.
RPA is not a magic bullet. It is a tool and must be used wisely and with direction. To help businesses buy automation software, I am starting a series that dives into data around the Robotic Process Automation (RPA) category on G2, recommending the tools needed to succeed in all automation endeavors. Planning the automation journey is the key to success.
“Planning is especially important not just from a requirements perspective but from a design viewpoint as well.”
For this article, we will begin with zooming into the leaderboard and analyzing the top and most sought-after features in RPA software. In the following posts, we will zoom out and present a lay of the land, offering a peek into who is using RPA, what they think about it, and more. In subsequent articles, we will address the challenges and opportunities of the technology and how one can unleash its potential value.
Automation Anywhere and UiPath lead in the RPA category
Figure 1: Leaders on G2’s latest GridⓇ report on RPA software (Spring 2021)
At the time of the aforementioned report,Automation Anywhere and UiPath had a difference of only 2 points and were vying for the top spot.
Although buyers can dig into G2 reviews to view a head-to-head comparison of the top leaders in this category, as seen in figure 1 above, a more fruitful starting point would be to analyze key features of RPA products and examine how the products in the category stack up.
Users are looking for secure products and end-to-end automation
At G2, we are all about data. Guided by around 1.3 million reviews at the time of writing, our research starts with this data, helping us understand what buyers think about Automation Anywhere and UiPath’s solutions, along with other contenders.
Two key points are of note when evaluating an RPA product:
Ensuring that it is safe and secure: Since RPA software can get access to the most sensitive information, it is important for key stakeholders, such as the IT department, to test how secure the software is.
Ensuring end-to-end automation: As mentioned above, RPA is not a magic bullet. It is critical to ensure that the solution provides a holistic automation solution that can support businesses in an end-to-end fashion.
Looking at the Leaders from the Spring 2021 report, we can see that both UiPath as well Automation Anywhere have strengths in security, as can be seen in figure 2 below.
Figure 2: Security ratings for UiPath and Automation Anywhere
This is not the end of the story. A broader and wider analysis of RPA products is recommended, or perhaps even required.
Data and product security are top of mind features for reviewers
When looking at an RPA product, users should think about how the data is stored, as well as who has access and rights to that data. Especially when users from various departments as well as seniority levels are using the product, users should consider the type of access each user can have. The more tailored, the better.
Looking at data from the G2 GridⓇ report, one can see that the Leaders score highly on the “ensuring data remains secure and compliant with industry standards” metric with UiPath scoring a 91/100 and Automation Anywherescoring a 90/100. However, it should be noted that they do not rank the highest on this metric in comparison to other players, such asNintex,Laserfiche, Pega Platform, ElectroNeek, Intellibot. These products scored the highest in the RPA category for data and product security, as seen in figure 3 below.
Figure 3:Top products for data and product security (RPA, Spring 2021)
Although RPA technology may have begun as a point solution that sought to automate repetitive processes, it cannot remain as such. The repetition of perfect processes can help companies streamline their business and improve effectiveness (since bots do not get tired or make careless mistakes). However, repeating broken processes blindly is bound to lead to error. This error will likely lead to increased costs when fixing those mistakes.
Therefore, vendors have made their solutions more powerful in two key areas:
Smarter bots, infusing them with technology such as image recognition and natural language understanding
Incorporating the RPA technology into a broader automation platform, through product updates or partnerships
Although the jury is out on what to name it, we like the term intelligent automation to describe this nexus. If we zoom in on two top Leaders in the category, as seen below in figure 4, we find that UiPath is placing a bet into expanding their automation solution, including aspects of low-code development, into their platform with their launch of UiPath Apps in September 2020.
Figure 4: Comparison of shared and unique categories between two top leaders (RPA, Spring 2021)
What does all this mean to the buyer?
What is the moral of this story? What is the take-home message?
Think broadly about your automation solution and how it fits in with your broader business and automation goals.
Do not always assume that the highest-ranking vendors overall will rank highest for the features/functionality in your organization. From looking at G2 report data, we saw that the Leaders in a given category are not necessarily the highest scorers for every metric and feature. A business that has security as its top evaluation criteria might start its buying journey by looking at the products that rank highest for this particular feature.
In the next post, we will take a step back and analyze trends around who is using RPA and for what purposes.
Matthew Miller is a research and data enthusiast with a knack for understanding and conveying market trends effectively. With experience in journalism, education, and AI, he has honed his skills in various industries. Currently a Senior Research Analyst at G2, Matthew focuses on AI, automation, and analytics, providing insights and conducting research for vendors in these fields. He has a strong background in linguistics, having worked as a Hebrew and Yiddish Translator and an Expert Hebrew Linguist, and has co-founded VAICE, a non-profit voice tech consultancy firm.
Features Are Key To Choosing Robotic Process Automation (RPA) SoftwareWhen evaluating RPA solutions, think about the features that matter most to your business and use case. Here’s how you can go about that.https://research.g2.com/insights/robotic-process-automation-rpa-software-featureshttps://learn.g2.com/hubfs/connection-3308188_1920.jpg2021-04-26 10:09:51Z
Matthew MillerMatthew Miller is a research and data enthusiast with a knack for understanding and conveying market trends effectively. With experience in journalism, education, and AI, he has honed his skills in various industries. Currently a Senior Research Analyst at G2, Matthew focuses on AI, automation, and analytics, providing insights and conducting research for vendors in these fields. He has a strong background in linguistics, having worked as a Hebrew and Yiddish Translator and an Expert Hebrew Linguist, and has co-founded VAICE, a non-profit voice tech consultancy firm.https://research.g2.com/insights/author/matthew-millerhttps://learn.g2.com/hubfs/matthew-millerupdated.jpeghttps://www.linkedin.com/in/mjmiller7/