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DPA (Digital process automation) is a newer variant of BPM that is lightweight and needs less coding. In 2019, DPA had a market value of 7.8 billion USD. By 2025, it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13%, reaching 16.12 billion USD.

A 2020 global survey by McKinsey and Co. states that 66% of businesses have piloted the automation of business processes in one or more business functions. This is a significant jump of 9% from 57% in the previous survey of 2018. (Source)

One of the services we provide at Plains.Digital is called business process automation. While the technology to do this has been around for ages, it’s only become accessible to the average user in the last few years, and only in the last couple has it been making waves in the business world. Let me provide a quick overview of what the hell it means, before we dig into some details, examples, and some Q&A.

Digital process automation (DPA) refers to the use of technology, such as software and computer systems, to automate repetitive, rule-based tasks. It is a form of automation that is designed to improve efficiency, reduce errors, and streamline workflows in a variety of industries. 

One of the main benefits of DPA is that it can free up humans to focus on more value-added work, rather than being bogged down with routine tasks. This can lead to increased productivity and cost savings for businesses. DPA can also reduce the risk of errors, since automated processes are less likely to make mistakes than humans.


Why should we think about DPA?

There are several additional benefits to using digital process automation (DPA) in the workplace:

Increased efficiency: Automated processes can often be completed faster than their manual counterparts, leading to improved efficiency and productivity.
Improved accuracy: Automated processes are less prone to errors than humans, leading to improved accuracy and reduced risk of mistakes.
Cost savings: By automating tasks, businesses can reduce labor costs and increase efficiency, leading to cost savings.
Increased consistency: Automated processes can be designed to follow a set of rules consistently, leading to improved consistency in tasks such as data entry or customer service.
Greater flexibility: DPA can allow businesses to easily scale and adapt their operations, as automated processes can be easily modified or changed.
Improved customer service: Automated processes can help businesses respond to customer inquiries and requests faster and more accurately, leading to improved customer satisfaction. 

This year, in 2023, global digital transformation (DX) spending is projected to touch 1.8 trillion USD. In just three years, i.e., by 2025, it is expected to reach 2.8 trillion USD. (Source)

Any discussion about business process automation is incomplete without talking about RPA and DPA. So, here’s what the data says:

  • RPA (Robotic process automation) relies on bots to mimic regular cognitive human tasks. In 2019, the value of the RPA market was 1.4 billion USD. Research forecasted it to grow at a CAGR of 6% between 2020 and 2027.
  • DPA (Digital process automation) is a newer variant of BPM that is lightweight and needs less coding. In 2019, DPA had a market value of 7.8 billion USD. By 2025, it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13%, reaching 16.12 billion USD.

As per Gartner, the global hyper automation-enabling software market will reach nearly 600 billion USD in 2023. This is a noticeable rise from 481.6 billion USD in 2020. (Source)



Zapier is a software company that was founded in 2011 by Bryan Helmig, Wade Foster, and Mike Knoop. The company’s headquarters is located in San Francisco, California. Zapier provides a cloud-based automation platform that allows users to connect various online services and apps in order to automate tasks and workflows.

The company has experienced significant growth since its founding and currently has over 500,000 customers worldwide. In 2020, Zapier reported annual revenue of $50 million.

Zapier’s platform allows users to create “zaps,” which are automated workflows that can be triggered by specific events or actions. For example, a user could create a zap that automatically adds new email subscribers to a mailing list, or that creates a new task in a project management tool every time a new entry is added to a spreadsheet. Zapier supports integration with a wide variety of apps and services, including popular tools such as Google Drive, Salesforce, and Trello.

Overall, Zapier is a powerful tool that helps businesses and individuals streamline their workflows and save time by automating repetitive tasks.

  • The Good: The Most Integrations
  • The Bad: Way Too Expensive

Zapier is the biggest and one of the oldest names in the game. It’s where most people (myself included) got their first crack at automating workflow. In its early years, it was a disruptive upstart and anybody could automate pretty much whatever they could imagine. It’s early years (much like my own) are far behind it, however. These days, their free tier is used up almost immediately by even the simplest of automations. You might want to keep it around, however, as there are a number of programs that have exclusive integrations with Zapier. Thankfully, that number keeps getting smaller as Zapier’s pricing continues to rise while better competition offers lower pricing.