A survey of 265 IT leaders found the primary reason organizations are applying artificial intelligence to IT operations (AIOps) is 60% is to improve service and application availability and performance (60%), followed closely by automation of operations (58%) and processes (54%).

Conducted on behalf of OpsRamp, a provider of an AIOps platform, the survey polled 138 IT leaders working for enterprise IT organizations and 127 representing managed service providers (MSPs). The organizations surveyed generated at least $25 million in revenue and have more than 500 employees. The survey found monitoring/native instrumentation (55%) ranked as the most important feature of an AIOps platform.

Bill Talbot, chief marketing officer for OpsRamp, said the survey suggested the initial reason organizations appear to be adopting AIOps is to improve monitoring and overall observability as IT teams continue to find simple tasks—such as discovering what is in their IT environments—challenging to achieve.

Overall, the survey found the greatest IT operations challenge for enterprises in 2023 was automating as many operations as possible (66%), followed by driving greater efficiency and productivity of IT operations teams and processes (61%). Application-to-infrastructure dependency mapping is the top incident management challenge (64%), the survey found.

The primary operational benefit cited was reducing open incident tickets (65%), followed by reducing mean-time-to-discovery (MTTD) and mean-time-to-remediation (MTTR) tied at 56% and automation of tedious tasks (52%).

The survey also found 80% of respondents reported it took less than six months to implement an AIOps platform, with more than two-thirds (68%) noting it takes more than six months to hire engineers with the right skillsets for AIOps. Well over 90% of respondents said AIOps is delivering the level of value they expected.

Despite advances in AIOps, however, two-thirds of respondents said they are concerned about the accuracy of the data being used to train AIOps platforms. A little more than a third (36%) are also concerned about AIOps deployment causing job loss.

While there has been a lot of initial skepticism concerning AI applications in IT operations at scale, adoption has now crossed the proverbial chasm, said Talbot. IT teams are finding a wide range of static application environments that lend themselves to being automated using machine learning algorithms, he added.

Less clear, of course, is the degree to which AIOps can be applied to highly dynamic IT environments where changes to code are frequently made. However, the more routine processes that are automated, the more time DevOps professionals will have to manage more challenging issues.

At this juncture, it’s not so much a question of whether AIOps will be employed to manage DevOps processes as much as it is to what degree. It remains to be seen how generative AI platforms such as ChatGPT might be applied to IT operations, but it’s apparent that AI will automate a wide range of tasks. It’s not likely those capabilities will eliminate the need for humans any time soon, but it does mean that many of the rote tasks that make working in IT tedious may soon disappear.