Freshworks report reveals major opportunity for IT leaders in the UK leveraging AI


Freshworks Inc. has released the findings of its second annual ‘State of Workplace Technology’ report, which found a 160% increase in the number of software applications on UK IT team’s work computers over the past year.

To manage this spiraling complexity, the report found that IT pros in the UK – especially senior leaders and younger generations – are embracing AI to automate workflows and boost efficiency with 79% of IT pros reporting that their organizations are already using AI.

AI is poised to save companies time and money

While IT departments are expected to grow this year, it doesn’t mean they need to spend more. Freshworks found that companies in the U.K are spending on average £2.7 million a year on software contracts but also estimate that they could save nearly £450,000 each year if they reduced the IT spend to only include absolutely necessary software. The survey also revealed:

  • IT professionals are managing more software than ever and see an opportunity to simplify. The number of software applications on IT teams’ work computers in the UK increased 160% over the last year. Despite this, IT professionals only use one-fifth of the applications available to them daily (just 7 out of 34), compared with nearly half in 2022.
  • IT teams put efficiency first. They rank ease of use and efficiency as top attributes of business software, ahead of feature suite, reliability and cost-effectiveness.
  • AI eliminates repetitive tasks. IT pros agree AI frees up time otherwise spent on repetitive tasks (49%) and allows them to do more complex, meaningful work (45%). Moreover, IT pros estimate they could save more than five hours per week by using AI to complete repetitive tasks. 

“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,” said Dennis Woodside, Freshworks president. “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.”

Senior IT leaders are bought into AI 

Directors and above report higher use and organisational support for AI. Notable findings include:

  • AI use is generally encouraged at work. Seven in ten (70%) IT directors and above globally say that use of AI is actively encouraged by their company, compared to 44% of team leads/managers and 21% of individual contributors.
  • IT leaders are leading the way to adopt AI. More than nine in ten (91%) IT directors and above currently use AI to support their workload, compared to 66% of team leads/managers and 33% of individual contributors.
  • There’s a youth AI movement. Newer generations are playing a pivotal role in AI adoption. Eight in ten (81%) of Millennial and 75% of Gen Z IT pros currently use AI to support their workload, compared with 57% of Gen X and 27% of Boomers. 

“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,” said Prasad Ramakrishnan, CIO at Freshworks. “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 conducted this research using an online survey prepared by Method Research and distributed by RepData among n=2,000 adults ages 18+ that work full time as IT professionals, with n=500 U.S., n=500 U.K., n=100 the Netherlands, and n=150 in each of the following six countries: Germany, France, Singapore, Australia/NZ, India, and the United Arab Emirates. The sample was balanced by gender, age, and company size, with an internationally representative geographic spread of respondents. Data was collected from April 27 to May 17, 2023.  

Time savings using AI in the U.S. was calculated by taking the median salary of computer and IT pros in the U.S. ($100,530 per U.S. BLS Data, May 2022) and calculating an hourly rate. Using the hourly rate, a per-worker annual cost was found by multiplying it by the annual amount of hours in the U.S. workers said they could save by using AI to complete repetitive tasks. Then, by multiplying by the amount of U.S. IT workers an enterprise-sized company has on average (Workforce survey), it gives a final value of $3.1M annual costs with a minimum of 200 IT employees.

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