GlobalData Identifies the Vendors Marrying AI-Based Low-Code with Robotic Software

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • Vendors with business process management (BPM) heritages and low-code expertise are well positioned to address complex workflows in high-compliance industries.
  • Consolidation has accelerated in recent months, including Google’s acquisition of no-code vendor AppSheet, Microsoft’s acquisition of robotic process automation (RPA) vendor Softomotive, SAP’s acquisition of RPA provider Contextor, and Appian’s acquisition of the Jidoka RPA platform.

Automation pioneers are readying new DevOps solutions which ease the backend data integration and business processes requirements required of app modernization. GlobalData has just completed an IPA series of Advisory Reports, where Part I defined and described the emerging market segment and Part II identifies those vendors which are demonstrating thought leadership through early intelligent process automation (IPA) initiatives including consolidated solutions presented in a still-evolving market . Vendors included in this report are: Appian, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Pegasystems, Red Hat, Salesforce, SAP, and ServiceNow.

Solutions consolidating AI-enhanced low-code platforms and robotic software are on track to becoming a prominent component of a DevOps toolbox, bridging the cloud’s value chain with traditional processes and newer app modernization objectives. The cloud offerings assembled within an emerging IPA market segment aim to help eliminate the time-consuming tasks required to manually build business processes under stringent demands of a digital era.

Enterprises are faced with significantly increased data connectivity requirements and heightened customer experience objectives. As a result, operations teams will demand IPA solutions over previous methods of process management. IPA supports scalability through a cloud infrastructure and AI-enhanced backend systems connectivity and tools, provided through low-code platforms making them accessible to business users.

IPA is an architecture that streamlines operations via work automation, orchestration, and instrumentation. Solutions within this category deliver automation to processes. This is enabled with AI, RPA, and – increasingly – optical character recognition (OCR). IPA uses AI-enabled low-code functionality to disrupt traditional business process methods. Solutions empower teams to create chatbots through graphical interfaces, so there is no need for expertise in AI and coding.

Still largely a convoluted effort, the industry is beginning to see platform providers formulate strategies after investing heavily in software automation, a term generally defined as having AI/ML, RPA, low-code platforms, and revised versions of process management systems. Examples of early IPA solutions include:

  • Microsoft Power Platform, including Power Automate, which has received RPA enhancements in recent months
  • Pegasystems Pega Platform, which added low-code capabilities through Pega Express earlier this year
  • Salesforce Lightning Flow, whose RPA and chatbot capabilities are further enhanced via partnerships
  • ServiceNow Now Platform, recently enhanced to support real-time change management

The industry has come a long way since the early days of mobile application development, when the initial objective was to enhance business opportunities and create applications under the first phase of digital transformations. Operations teams quickly realized the need to find solutions that would allow applications to easily integrate with third-party services (accomplished through RESTful APIs). For those processes that didn’t have APIs, manual automation was enabled through RPA solutions. Now, fueled by innovations such as IPA, enterprises will have access to new platforms which automate continuous integration workflows.

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