A new report has suggested that the global robotic process automation (RPA) market could be worth billions by the end of the decade.

The forecast, made by Transparency Market Research, claims that the sector will grow exponentially by 2020, as the technology becomes more widely understood and utilised, digitaljournal.com reports.

Automation could hail the dawn of an IT revolution, which the report claimed could have the same impact as outsourcing did several years ago, according to infoworld.com. It has the potential to redeploy resource, redefine skills requirements and possibly see outsourcing as a thing of the past – which is naturally a great thing in an industry where there are skills shortages or where bigger, more important projects necessitate niche abilities that are being used elsewhere.

Comprising several elements, RPA essentially mimics actions and tasks currently performed by humans – many of the basic, dull and repetitive – to improve productivity and free up time. Such activities might include access management, data grabbing, data entry, monitoring, software testing and problem management.

For many companies, the goal is for RPA to take on additional work while retaining headcount levels. One of the many benefits that humans simply can’t replicate, is that robotics can work 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. Automation also doesn’t require much support once rules have been put in place.

The concept is definitely capturing attention among enterprises, IT consultancies and outsource providers; it even has its own institute.

Ultimately, the value in RPA – and what will no doubt be the reason behind the market’s meteoric, predicted rise – is that it can fulfil the demands of an ever-changing industry, enabling talented individuals to progress further and do more.