Discover how AI is reshaping IT departments in Freshworks’ annual report. Uncover cost-saving insights and the growing role of AI in workplace technology.
Freshworks Inc. has unveiled its second annual “State of Workplace Technology” report, revealing a staggering 71% surge in the number of software applications found on IT teams’ work computers in the past year. To tackle this mounting complexity, the report highlights the growing adoption of AI among IT professionals, particularly senior leaders and younger generations, with 86% of IT experts affirming that their organizations are already leveraging AI for workflow automation and enhanced efficiency.
AI’s potential to deliver cost and time savings
While IT departments are poised for growth this year, it doesn’t translate to increased expenditure. Freshworks’ findings indicate that U.S. companies can potentially save more than $15,000 per IT employee annually by harnessing AI to eradicate time wasted on repetitive tasks. This equates to substantial annual savings of at least $3 million for enterprise-scale companies employing around 5,000 staff members with an average of 200 IT professionals. Additional insights from the survey include:
- IT professionals are grappling with a surge in software applications but see an opportunity to simplify. Over the past year, the number of software applications on IT teams’ workstations has surged by 71%, yet IT experts only use one-third of the available applications daily (only eight out of 24), compared to half in 2022.
- IT teams prioritize efficiency, ranking ease of use and efficiency as the top attributes of business software, trumping features, reliability, and cost-effectiveness.
- AI is a game-changer in eliminating repetitive tasks. Almost half (49%) of IT professionals agree that AI liberates time previously consumed by repetitive tasks, enabling them to engage in more complex and meaningful work. Furthermore, IT experts estimate they could save over five hours per week by employing AI for repetitive tasks.
Dennis Woodside, President of Freshworks, remarked, “I’ve had a front-row seat to the mobile and cloud revolutions, and witnessed how both delivered powerful efficiencies that enabled IT teams to improve performance—without expanding costs. We’re already seeing customers like Smartsheet and Sony Music Entertainment who plan to harness AI to substantially improve employee service, while saving on costs from legacy software accrued over time.”
Strong AI adoption among senior IT leaders
Directors and senior IT leaders exhibit higher levels of AI usage and organizational support for AI. Key findings include:
- Promoting AI usage is common in workplaces. Seventy percent of IT directors and above state that their companies actively encourage AI usage, compared to 44% of team leads/managers and 21% of individual contributors.
- IT leaders are at the forefront of AI adoption. More than 91% of IT directors and above currently utilize AI to support their workloads, in contrast to 66% of team leads/managers and 33% of individual contributors.
- A generational shift is evident in AI adoption. Younger generations, including 81% of Millennials and 75% of Gen Z IT professionals, actively employ AI in their roles, outpacing 57% of Gen X and 27% of Boomers.
Prasad Ramakrishnan, CIO at Freshworks, commented, “Business leaders adopt software for good reasons—to improve operations—but over time may face an unintended consequence of accruing more applications than they need. Smart, simplified technology, paired with the power of AI, will do more to drive productivity and efficiency than legacy software has done in decades. IT leaders who embrace automation and technological agility to reduce complexity will be the ones whose teams come out ahead.”
Freshworks’ second annual “State of Workplace Technology” report provides invaluable insights into the evolving landscape of IT departments and their embrace of AI-driven solutions. The data underscores the increasing importance of AI in streamlining operations, enhancing efficiency, and ultimately, saving both time and money for organizations. As IT professionals continue to navigate the ever-expanding realm of software applications, the power of AI presents a compelling opportunity to simplify, optimize, and propel businesses forward. With senior IT leaders championing AI adoption and younger generations driving its implementation, the future of workplace technology appears promising, poised for innovation, and primed to meet the challenges of an ever-evolving digital landscape. For a more detailed analysis of the report’s findings and to explore the potential of AI-first IT Service Management, we invite you to visit freshworks.com.
For the full “State of Workplace Technology” report, please visit here.