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SolarWinds IT Trends Report 2024: Embracing AI – A Boon or a Risk?

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The 2024 SolarWinds IT Trends Report, titled “AI: Friend or Foe?“, provides a comprehensive examination of the current landscape of artificial intelligence (AI) within IT operations. Conducted in partnership with UserEvidence, the report surveyed nearly 700 IT professionals to understand their views on AI, focusing on the benefits, challenges, and future implications of AI and AIOps (AI for IT operations).

Executive Summary

The report explores the dual nature of AI as both a potential boon and a source of concern for IT professionals. While cinematic portrayals of AI often evoke fears of uncontrollable, malevolent machines, the reality in IT is more nuanced. Professionals are evaluating AI's impact on security, data integrity, and decision-making processes to determine if AI will be a friend or foe in achieving their organizational goals.


The survey included IT staff and leaders from various global enterprises, with respondents spanning multiple industries such as technology, manufacturing, finance, telecommunications, and healthcare. Companies of different sizes were represented, ranging from small enterprises with up to 1,000 employees to large organizations with over 5,000 employees.

Key Insights

  1. AI Improves Efficiency and Productivity in IT Teams
    • Automation and Efficiency: A significant portion of IT professionals (46%) believe that AI investments will lead to increased efficiency, making it the primary driver for adopting AI technologies. AIOps is seen as a powerful tool for automating repetitive tasks, processing vast amounts of data, and providing real-time insights, thus enhancing productivity and reducing the workload on IT teams.
    • Benefits of AIOps: The integration of AIOps can lead to fewer incidents, faster resolution times, greater visibility, and reduced alert noise. This enhances the overall efficiency and operational capabilities of IT teams.
  2. Strong Confidence in AI Adoption and Implementation
    • Investment Levels: Nearly two-thirds of organizations have invested $5 million or more in AI technology, with 31% investing over $25 million. This substantial investment reflects strong confidence in AI's potential to deliver significant benefits.
    • Future Outlook: A large majority (88%) of respondents have already adopted AI or plan to do so. However, many IT professionals (56%) desire even greater investment in AI and faster implementation to fully leverage its capabilities.
  3. Security and Privacy Concerns
    • Major Concerns: Security and privacy remain the top concerns, with 47% of IT professionals reporting negative experiences due to these issues. The rapid advancement of AI raises questions about data protection, the integrity of AI models, and the safeguarding of proprietary information.
    • Regulatory Needs: A substantial majority (88%) of respondents support increased government oversight of AI, particularly in areas related to security (72%) and privacy (64%).
  4. Trust in Data Quality
    • Data Quality Issues: Many IT professionals are cautious about the quality of data used in AI systems. Poor data quality is the second most significant barrier (16%) to successful AI integration, leading to errors and unreliable outputs.
    • Government Regulation: More than half (54%) of respondents believe that government regulation should play a role in ensuring data quality and combating misinformation.
  5. AI as a Wise Advisor, Not a Final Decision-Maker
    • Human Oversight: IT professionals widely agree that AI should function as an advisor rather than a solo decision-maker. While AI can process data and identify patterns, human oversight is crucial to ensure ethical governance, mitigate biases, and maintain trust in AI systems.
    • Decision-Making: Only 47% of respondents view enhanced decision-making capabilities as a positive outcome of AI, with a majority expressing a need for more comfort and trust in AI's role in decision-making processes.

Future of AI in IT

The report anticipates that generative AI will become deeply integrated into daily routines within the next two to three years. Early adopters already report significant benefits in areas such as customer support and incident management, with improvements ranging from 30-50% or more in cost savings, response times, and customer satisfaction.

Recommendations for Organizations

  • Adopt Ethical Frameworks: Implement frameworks like AI by Design to ensure ethical and secure AI development.
  • Invest in Training: Equip teams with the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively use AI technologies.
  • Prioritize Human Oversight: Maintain human involvement in AI decision-making processes to uphold trust, safety, and ethical standards.
  • Support Government Regulation: Advocate for regulatory measures that address security, privacy, and data quality issues.


AI holds immense potential to revolutionize IT operations, but its integration must be approached with careful consideration of security, privacy, and data quality concerns. By adopting best practices and maintaining a balance between AI automation and human oversight, organizations can harness the power of AI to drive efficiency, productivity, and innovation.

This extensive analysis of AI in IT underscores the importance of proactive planning and ethical implementation to ensure that AI remains a beneficial tool for IT professionals and their organizations.

To learn more readers should visit access the AI: Friend or Foe? report.

A founding partner of unite.AI & a member of the Forbes Technology Council, Antoine is a futurist who is passionate about the future of AI & robotics.

He is also the Founder of, a website that focuses on investing in disruptive technology.