AI-driven future of IT services held back by post-pandemic challenges


Freshworks Inc., a leading software company empowering businesses to delight their customers and employees, today announces the results of a recent survey with IDG on the state of IT Service Management (ITSM) and IT Operations Management (ITOM).

As businesses increasingly evolve their online services and pursue digital transformation, in no small part due to the trends of the Covid-19 pandemic, increasing pressure is being placed on organisations’ IT services and operations management. In fact, a quarter (25%) of UK organisations think that the volume of internal IT service inquiries will increase over the next 12 months. Adapting to this is crucial, with 77% responding that executive teams have prioritised the modernisation of IT service and operations management. Despite this, as few as 19% of UK businesses responded that their IT service systems are fully prepared to meet this demand.

In response, organisations see AI as the key to weathering this storm. Over half (52%) of UK businesses considered AI as critical or very important to the overall success of their IT services modernisation, while a similar proportion (50%) have already deployed AI, either across the enterprise or in specific departments. Many have already experienced the benefits of doing so, with almost half (47%) of UK organisations seeing improvements in workflow automation as a result, or as a way of reducing the workload of IT staff. More than two in five (41%) respondents experienced an increase in end-user productivity as a result of AI adoption in IT services, while 22% were able to offer better user, customer and employee experiences.

Despite the importance and benefits of adoption attributed to AI as a way of enhancing ITSM/ITOM, there are obstacles to furthering its use in UK businesses. For example, only 47% of respondents are currently using AI to improve or augment IT service/help desks, or plan to in the next 12 months. A similar trend can be seen with other areas of ITSM/ITOM such as chatbots (58%), incident reporting (50%) and infrastructure/IT asset management (38%).

It appears that there are a number of reasons for this. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, UK businesses highlighted speed (45%), cost (41%) and integration with legacy systems (39%) as the biggest challenges preventing them from implementing AI to enhance IT service systems. As investment in digital transformation accelerates in UK businesses, the demand for efficient internal IT services will increase. While the role of AI is clear in supporting this, there are internal difficulties to be overcome for the widespread benefits to be experienced.

“The data proves what Freshworks has been seeing with our customers for years – they expect AI to be deeply integrated within the ITSM tools instead of it being an add-on that requires additional effort to delight their employees,” said Prakash Ramamurthy, chief product officer at Freshworks. “As evident from the survey, users of AI want greater automation, reduced complexity, and a simplified approach with modern IT tools that delight businesses of all sizes. AI is no longer a futuristic concept, it’s a must-have.”