[US] IT Teams in the AI Jungle: More Tasks, More Responsibility

The second part of the OTRS Spotlight: IT Service Management 2024 takes a look at all the new tasks and challenges that the age of AI brings for IT teams.
  • OTRS Survey: Nearly two-thirds of IT teams in the United States are co-decision makers when it comes to the use of AI tools
  • Employees inundate IT departments with inquiries about AI applications

Cupertino, CA, 12. June 2024 – The more AI applications enter the market, the more responsibility IT teams shoulder. In the United States, 60 percent of them help decide which AI tools and services are introduced and used in their companies.

However, for many, this is no easy task. According to the second part of the “OTRS Spotlight: IT Service Management 2024” study, IT teams are keeping up with the rapid AI changes. In fact, 65 percent have a very good overview of the latest AI tools and services, their areas of application, potential benefits, costs and risks.

The same is not true for employees, however. Today’s IT teams are being inundated with inquiries from employees about AI applications and their usage. 41 percent receive questions about the functions and possible use cases of certain AI tools or services practically every day; a further 39 percent receive these several times a week.

For the study, the software company OTRS Group surveyed 600 IT managers and employees internationally, 100 of them in the United States.

IT teams are the point of contact for all things AI

IT teams are asked thousands of varied questions by company employees. Most frequently, however, they are asked:

  • to address concerns about the data security of certain AI tools or services (43 percent practically every day, 31 percent several times a week).
  • for assistance with the use of AI tools or services (42 percent practically every day, 32 percent several times a week).
  • to find a suitable AI tool or service for a specific use case/purpose (41 percent practically every day, 35 percent several times a week).

“First of all, it is positive that employees are turning to their company’s IT department with their concerns about AI applications. Its expertise is essential for deciding which AI tools and services should be introduced and used in the company. After all, a well-positioned IT service management team not only keeps an eye on the technology itself, but also on whether it contributes to achieving the company’s overarching goals,” Andreas Bender, Vice President Consulting of OTRS Group, emphasizes. “Managers should not underestimate the additional workload caused by the flood of AI-related inquiries for the already understaffed IT teams. In order support their coworkers, they must have sufficient capacity to deal comprehensively with the many new tools and evaluate their potential uses, opportunities and risks.”

Documented guidelines pave the pathway for employees

One way to relieve the burden on IT teams is by establishing guidelines for the use of AI tools and services within the company that employees can follow. Many US teams have already taken such a step: 64 percent already have guidelines for the use of AI tools and services in their organizations. For those without existing guidelines, most of them see it as an urgent need: 31 percent  are currently working on AI guidelines. Only 5 percent neither already have guidelines nor are currently working on them.

What many IT teams lack, just as much as AI guidelines, is an overview of which AI tools and services employees are already using in their company. As many as 40 percent of teams are only partially aware of what these are, while five percent have no overview at all.

When it comes to the possible applications of AI in their own area of work – in IT service management (ITSM) – the majority of IT teams feel well informed to some extent, but also find it difficult to obtain a complete overview here (66 percent). In contrast, 30 percent are convinced that they know all about the possible applications of AI in ITSM.

IT teams want to improve performance and efficiency with AI tools

Regardless of the additional work that AI applications create for IT teams, they are convinced that it can be of great benefit to both their company and their own work. For most, the main reason for introducing AI applications in their company is to achieve better performance (73 percent). Saving time is the next key benefit as indicated by 64 percent of respondents. This was followed by increasing employee satisfaction (51 percent), increasing customer satisfaction (50 percent) and saving costs (50 percent).

In terms of ITSM, IT teams in the United States expect the greatest benefit from AI applications to be in data analysis, processing and optimization. In the first case, they expect to be able to continuously improve processes (57 percent). Secondly, they expect to detect or predict errors or disruptions in ITSM processes at an early stage (55 percent). This is followed in the ranking of the most promising AI use cases in ITSM by AI chatbots (48 percent), automatically generated, context-related service responses (45 percent) and automatic classification and assignment of requests (41 percent).

Andreas Bender adds: “While AI applications such as chatbots are already commonplace in B2C customer service, the picture is still somewhat different in ITSM at the moment. The processes and requests that the teams have to deal with here are usually much more complex – and so is the development of AI applications that are intended to relieve the burden in these areas. Nevertheless, IT teams can already see the potential that lies dormant in AI for ITSM. Now it is up to the manufacturers to bring this potential to life.”


About the ‘OTRS Spotlight: IT Service Management 2024’ Study

The data used is based on an online survey conducted by Pollfish Inc. on behalf of OTRS AG, in which 600 employees in IT service management or IT support in Germany, the United States of America, Brazil, Mexico, Singapore, Malaysia and Hungary participated between April 4, 2024, and May 2, 2024.

Additional results of the second part of the study are available for download as an infographic here.

The results of the first part of the study are available here: AI Hype in ITSM: High Potential, High Workload for IT Teams, New Data Reveals

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