UPDATED 09:57 EDT / APRIL 28 2021


Gartner sees low-code app development leading strong growth in ‘hyperautomation’ tools

Saying that the category of software it calls “hyperautomation” has “shifted from an option to a condition of survival,” Gartner Inc. predicts the worldwide market for technology that enables hyperautomation will reach $596.6 billion in 2022, up nearly 24% from last year.

That includes 54% growth in what the research firm calls “process-agnostic” tools such as robotic process automation, low-code application platforms and artificial intelligence-enabled software such as virtual assistants.

Hyperautomation is defined as tools that enable organizations to rapidly identify, vet and automate as many processes as possible using technology, typically focusing on tasks that once required humans. Process-agnostic software is that which can be used across multiple information technology and business use cases. Though a small part of the overall hyperautomation market, it shows some of the greatest promise to tackle automation tasks that cross organizational and application boundaries.

Gartner broke out process-agnostic tools in its forecast because they depart from much larger automation categories like enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management and are growing at a faster rate, said Fabrizio Biscotti, a Gartner research vice president.

“Hyperautomation is impacting the entire software market in different ways,” Biscotti said. “It’s a set of technologies that have made development integration and process automation possible while bridging the divide with traditional IT backgrounds.” He pointed to low-code development platforms, in particular, as “probably the biggest single element that is impacting hyperautomation.”

The market for low-code tools is expected to grow at a blistering rate in coming years as skills-strapped IT organizations put more responsibility for simple development projects in the hands of technology-savvy business users. Gartner predicts that organizations will adopt at least three out of the 20 types of process-agnostic hyperautomation software by 2024, at which time low-code will comprise more than 65% of application development activity.

Among the long list of software categories Gartner classifies as hyperautomation are intelligent business process management, multi-experience development platforms, integration platform-as-a-service, event brokers, document capture software, virtual assistants, digital twins and drones. The firm says companies are developing integrated offerings that combine technologies like RPA, low-code platforms and business process management into a single package.

The result of this adoption will be that organizations will lower operational costs by 30% by combining hyperautomation technologies with redesigned operational processes. “Generally speaking, these will be white-collar tasks,” Biscotti said. “I don’t think this will trigger unemployment but rather new types of employment. We will see a different type of white-collar employee emerge in people who are more skilled in IT tasks and whose career path will be in supporting automation.”

Worldwide Forecast for Hyperautomation-Enabling Technologies (Millions of U.S. Dollars)

  2020 2021 Growth 2022 Growth
Process-Agnostic Software That Enables Hyperautomation 19,604 25,108 28% 30,184 20%
Other Software That Enables Hyperautomation 462,030 507,316 10% 566,433 12%
Total 481,635 532,424 11% 596,616 12%

Source: Gartner Inc.

Photo: Unsplash

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