The State of AI Adoption in IT – a North American Perspective

The State of AI Adoption in IT

ITSM.tools recently started an artificial intelligence (AI)-focused IT service management (ITSM) AI adoption survey with Atomicwork. The global version of the AI adoption survey is still open, and your participation would be greatly appreciated. The global survey can be accessed here.

In parallel with running the global survey, the AI adoption survey questions were also separately focused on North American IT professionals, as was a separate survey that sought end-user, i.e. non-IT personnel, perspectives of corporate AI adoption. There were 250 IT professional responses and 750 end-user responses.

This article summarizes some of the key findings from the North American AI adoption survey. The full set of findings can be downloaded from the Atomicwork website.

Here you'll find an overview of the key findings from the North American #AI Adoption survey from @ITSM_tools & @AtomicWorks. #ITSM #ArtificialIntelligence Share on X

Some of the key North American AI adoption survey findings

North America was considered the US and Canada for the AI adoption survey, with the respective respondent percentages 83% and 17% for the IT professional survey and 88% and 12% for the end-user survey. Here’s a selection of what the respondents said:

SURVEY FINDINGS: The top three barriers to #AI adoption are believed to be customer data security (42%), additional cost (39%), and inaccuracy or inconsistency (33%). #ITSM #AI #ArtificialIntelligence Share on X
  • The majority of the IT professional respondents (58%) said their organizations were still in the early stages of AI adoption (in IT) – either planning (20%), early exploration (24%), or pilot projects (14%). 27% of respondents had progressed past the AI pilot projects stage to have functioning AI capabilities in IT. Only 11% of respondents stated that their organizations have no plans for AI adoption in IT.
  • 27% of IT professional respondents stated that their organizations don’t have anyone specifically focusing on AI. However, the majority of these organizations (94%) hadn’t progressed with AI in production.
  • The three most stated benefits of AI adoption in IT, by IT professionals, are data analytics and synthesizing insights (45%), chatbots for self-service adoption (38%), and improving employee experience and workflow automation and optimization (tied at 34%).
  • The top three barriers to AI adoption were believed to be customer data security (42%), additional cost (39%), and inaccuracy or inconsistency (33%). The lack of fit-for-purpose AI tools was stated as a barrier to adoption by only 10% of survey respondents.
  • The three top most stated areas, by IT professionals, where AI shouldn’t be used were ethical and legal decision-making (41%), people management (30%), and customer relationship management (29%). It was similar for end-users with ethical and legal decision-making (39%), customer relationship management (36%), and people management (33%). However, it’s appreciated that the question could be interpreted differently – with AI adoption considered either as AI running the related processes or AI augmenting the people running the processes.
  • 36% of end-user respondents were happy with their IT teams’ use of AI, and another 19% would like them to use it. When the “Don’t know” AI adoption responses are removed, this is 46% and 25%, respectively, and 71% in total. The respondents who stated that they had contacted IT support three or more times in the last six months were far more likely to have access to helpful AI (43%).
  • 75% of end-user survey respondents stated that they’re already using AI for their work, although the survey didn’t different between supported, where AI use is required (which could be IT chatbots or the “authorized” personal use of ChatGPT or similar generative AI tools), and unsupported use cases where the end-user is using their own initiative and non-corporate tools to improve their productivity. This is probably the most important survey finding for IT organizations. It shows how fast generative AI adoption has been, even if no corporately provided or approved applications exist. It’s the latest “Shadow IT” example where the risks must be effectively managed.
Survey findings: The majority of the IT pros (58%) said their orgs were still in the early stages of AI adoption (in IT) – either planning (20%), early exploitation (24%), or pilot projects (14%). #ITSM #AI #ArtificialIntelligence Share on X

In addition to the AI adoption data points, the surveys found that only a quarter (26%) of end-user survey respondents were happy with how their IT support team worked. The respondents who stated they had contacted IT support three or more times in the last six months were far less likely to be happy with IT support (only 13%). It’s an interesting additional insight (to the AI-focused data) that should be borne in mind when investing in AI-enabled improvements.

What do you think of this AI adoption data? Please let me know in the comments. And don’t forget that the full set of findings can be downloaded from the Atomicwork website.

Stephen Mann
Stephen Mann
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Principal Analyst and Content Director at the ITSM-focused industry analyst firm ITSM.tools. Also an independent IT and IT service management marketing content creator, and a frequent blogger, writer, and presenter on the challenges and opportunities for IT service management professionals.

Previously held positions in IT research and analysis (at IT industry analyst firms Ovum and Forrester and the UK Post Office), IT service management consultancy, enterprise IT service desk and IT service management, IT asset management, innovation and creativity facilitation, project management, finance consultancy, internal audit, and product marketing for a SaaS IT service management technology vendor.

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