ManageEngine Reveal Why IT Staff Are Struggling to Apply AI

Interestingly still, 21% don't anticipate any productivity improvements from its implementation
Although AI has the potential to transform the IT sector, many staff within it are struggling with its implementation

AI is growing in its use in IT, but a recent study by ManageEngine and the Service Desk Institute (SDI) has uncovered a divide among IT professionals regarding its impact on workplace productivity. 

The report, titled "The State of Artificial Intelligence in ITSM – 2024 and beyond," highlights both the potential benefits and challenges associated with AI adoption in the IT sector.

"The survey reveals two primary motivators of AI adoption in IT and differing levels of their impact on adoption,” says Kumaravel Ramakrishnan, Director of Marketing for ITSM at ManageEngine.

“The first motivator for AI adoption is to streamline processes and reduce costs (81%), while the second is spurring innovation (67%) to differentiate from competition.”

Despite these promising figures, it also revealed that while half of IT professionals believe AI will boost their work productivity, a significant portion remains sceptical or hesitant to embrace the technology. 

This split in opinion reflects the complex landscape of AI integration within the IT industry.

Kumaravel Ramakrishnan is Director of Marketing for ITSM at ManageEngine

AI in IT

Those optimistic about AI's potential cite its ability to amplify individual capabilities and accelerate task completion. 

Gen AI tools in particular are seen as powerful allies in enhancing workplace efficiency. For instance, when a new support ticket comes in, a Gen AI system could immediately analyse its content, categorise the issue and assess its priority based on past tickets and resolutions.

Despite these obvious optimisation efforts, the report also shows that nearly a third (32%) of IT professionals rarely or never use Gen AI.

Interestingly still, 21% don't anticipate any productivity improvements from its implementation.

This divide in AI adoption and perception may be attributed to varying levels of understanding and expertise within the IT community. 

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The study found that 45% of IT professionals report only a basic understanding of Gen AI, highlighting a significant knowledge gap in the field.

Indeed, knowledge gaps are a significant issue in the cyber field. A 2023 study by international professional association focused on IT governance ISACA showed that nearly 62% of businesses face understaffing issues within their cybersecurity teams.

This lack of specialised knowledge has far-reaching implications, particularly in areas of compliance, legal issues, and ethical considerations. 

The report indicates that 61% of IT professionals believe their understanding of AI's ethical implications is either adequate, limited, or poor. 

Moreover, almost half (48%) admit to having poor or limited understanding of the compliance and legal issues surrounding AI implementation, a factor crucial in a maturing regulatory environment.

Perhaps most alarmingly, only 15% of respondents expressed high confidence in their organisations' ability to manage AI-related security issues. This is increasingly concerning as trends show adversaries are increasingly looking to AI to augment their attacks.

AI’s future in IT

Despite these challenges, the study shows that AI is making inroads in specific areas of IT service management (ITSM). 

Virtual assistants for end-user support, assisted knowledge management, and assisted self-service are currently the top three AI-powered technologies used in ITSM operations. 

Respondents believe that incident management (79%), knowledge management (73%), and service request management (67%) are the areas most likely to be impacted by AI.

However, the adoption of more strategic AI applications, such as intelligent data analytics for insight and decision-making, lags behind, which the report links to 62% of respondents listing integration challenges. 

Yet, as the IT industry grapples with the transformative potential of AI, the report reminds that implementation and skills pose a problem to a broader rollout.

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