- Over two-thirds of IT professionals are not using any form of AI in IT or network operations
- Almost half of respondents expressed a negative sentiment towards the use of AI
- Just one third are confident in their ability to evaluate AI technology and two-thirds have a low confidence level in the accuracy of AI outputs
- Issues of privacy, transparency, accountability and ethics remain
Dublin, Wednesday, 4th October 2023: Over two-thirds (72 per cent) of IT professionals are currently not using any form of artificial intelligence (AI) in their IT or network operations and almost half (44 per cent) have a negative view of AI as a supporting technology, according to the results of a survey released today by leading independent network integrator Agile Networks.
Of those not currently using AI technology, just one fifth (19 per cent) have a firm roadmap in place for its future deployment.
When asked about the key challenges in deploying AI-based technology, privacy, data security, accountability and transparency ranked high in the list. Just 8 per cent cited job displacement as an issue.
Just over one third (35 per cent) of those questioned are confident in their ability to accurately evaluate AI technology.
Commenting on the findings, Kenn Larkin, CEO with Agile Networks said:
“Artificial Intelligence has the potential to positively transform our IT and network operations but there remains a significant cohort of IT professionals with legitimate questions around privacy, data security, transparency and accountability.
“We have a lot of work to do as an industry to engender trust and confidence in AI use but as the technology matures, and legal and regulatory frameworks are put in place at global and local levels, adoption levels will undoubtedly rise.”
Use cases for AI
Despite the low level of overall adoption, those using AI (28 per cent) cite clear use cases. In IT operations, AI is currently being used for tasks such as IT asset management, predictive maintenance, IT capacity planning and infrastructure monitoring.
On the network side, AI-based technology supports network performance analysis, network capacity planning and network traffic engineering.
“We were very surprised at the low level of AI use in the area of network troubleshooting and diagnostics,” said Sean Nolan, business development manager with Agile Networks.
“Networking manufacturers such as Juniper Networks have been integrating AI-powered tools into their hardware and software solutions for some time now. For example, Marvis, the industry’s first AI-powered, conversational-based assistant has transformed the way IT teams interact and engage with enterprise networks. We’ve seen the volume of network-related support tickets slashed to single-digit percentages through its use,” he said.
Barriers to AI adoption
Lack of in-house expertise was cited as a barrier to AI adoption by 38 per cent of respondents. This compares to 49 per cent in 2022, a decrease that will be encouraging for organisations seeking AI expertise.
Rather worryingly, the number of those citing lack of management buy-in as an obstacle to AI adoption has increased from 12 per cent in 2022 to one quarter in 2023. This is perhaps indicative of a growing market awareness of the technology and media debate surrounding some of the more negative aspects of the technology.
Evaluating new technologies and vendors
The decision-making process for the purchase of AI technology is likely to be fraught with difficulty as just 35 per cent of IT professionals said they were confident in their ability to evaluate hardware of software solutions that encompass AI.
“Many IT professionals are taking a ‘wait and see’ approach with it comes to integrating AI into their IT operations,” according to Larkin.
“Clearly there are outstanding issues to be resolved around integrity, accuracy and data privacy. We will continue to work with vendors such as Juniper Networks, who are firmly committed to transparency and accountability around AI usage and delivering the significant operational benefits that derive from its deployment across the enterprise network.”
The survey was conducted online with the support of Juniper Networks through TechCentral.ie, one of the country’s leading technology news sources during the month of July 2023. It was completed by 101 IT professionals across the industry spectrum including the public sector, finance, technology and manufacturing.
A copy of the ‘Intelligent Evolution’ report is available for immediate download