Gartner recently released its 3rd magic quadrant for Robotic Process Automation (RPA) technologies. While a Magic Quadrant is interesting in and of itself, for how different vendors are rated, perhaps more interesting is how the quadrant has evolved over the last 3 years. It also tells a story that I think is consistent with that heard from clients, prospects, and implementers.

The three leaders in this space, UIPath, Automation Anywhere, and Blue Prism, are still in the top quadrant. During the last 3 years, when a client has not already had a platform in place, they chose to go with one of these leaders. The only time a different technology has been proposed was when the client had legacy licenses available from an abandoned earlier effort. In both those cases, the client ended up selecting one of the top 3 platforms and moved away from the legacy. 

However, also interesting is that UIPath, at least based on the Gartner evaluation, appears to be separating itself progressively from other leaders. The recent UIPath IPO should help fund the R&D into its core and related product sets, which could see it becoming the clear leader in this space in the next couple of years.

Unsurprisingly, Microsoft now makes an entry into the top quadrant after its acquisition of Softomotive last year. Included as a component of the Power Automate platform, and with the vast resources of Microsoft behind it, one should expect Microsoft to challenge for a leadership role in the near future.

The Gartner Magic Quadrant for RPA, July 2021