The following is a contributed article by Gaurav Dhillon, founder and CEO of data integration firm SnapLogic
There’s no turning back – millennials expect a consumer-grade technology experience at work, and the CIOs and enterprise tech vendors who can provide this will be the winners of tomorrow.
As millennials take over the workforce – Deloitte predicts that by 2025 they will account for 75% of the global workforce – businesses need to address changing practices and expectations. While millennials’ attitudes in the workplace sometimes get a bad rap, there’s no denying they are driving real change, which in my view is for the better.
Businesses need to meet their expectations for easy-to-use enterprise technology. Millennials grew up with smartphones and tablets that don’t come with instructions and serve multiple utility, so they want the same in the workplace. In fact, 97% of millennials aged 25-34 own a smartphone. And I doubt that a single one would give up their smartphone for a separate flip phone, music player and camera.
Employees want control
It is not just millennials that want the ease of use of personal technology in the workplace. BYOD and BYOA took off before millennials became such a driving force. Self-service, easy to use technology is thriving because employees can easily access and control it, don’t need instructions to use it and it’s quick to deploy for everyone.
Yes, there is still a big role for the IT department, but there are many areas where employees should be able to ‘do it for themselves’ and not need the in-depth technical training reserved for complex IT deployments and developments. The role of IT is changing, but its importance isn’t. If IT tries to control too much at some point it starts holding the business back, and not just because it doesn’t have time to deliver real technical value on projects.
Multiple utility demands
We live in an age where people expect multiple utility and everything at their fingertips. Some have said millennials, especially, are an impatient generation when it comes to technology. They are used to apps loading instantly and won’t hang around if a browser takes too long to load. The same is required in business. Self-service is growing and modern technology needs to meet this demand.
Unfortunately, some businesses are slow to change. They still have one foot firmly in the past trying to run their operations on legacy technology. Anything that’s engine was built pre-cloud era simply isn’t able to deliver the multiple utility and self-service demanded by employees.
Focus on sunk opportunities
Businesses continue to pour good money after bad to keep out-of-date technology going without considering what they are missing out on. Instead of thinking about sunk costs, businesses need to evaluate sunk opportunities. Everything has moved to the cloud. Enterprises have made the conscious decision to switch to a modern enterprise SaaS application portfolio.
But if the rest of the architecture isn’t aligned with a modern enterprise, much of the benefit brought by these applications can be lost. Particularly when it comes to the data held in them. Businesses need to be able to solve all kinds of data-in-flight problems in the enterprise like being able to connect Salesforce with SAP, or solve problems with emerging technologies like predictive analytics, machine learning or IoT. And more importantly, businesses need to give employees the tools to be able to extract and combine data when they need it, not when IT has time to do it for them.
Businesses need a clean slate for a new generation. Millennials are helping to shift user-experience requirements and technology needs to keep up for the benefit of everyone in the organisation. Businesses can’t afford to continue to invest in sunk costs when the sunk opportunity is so great.
PREVIOUS ARTICLE«C-suite talk fav tech: Jason Collier, Scale Computing
Adrian Schofield sheds light on tech in South Africa
Mark Chillingworth on IT leadership
IDG Connect delivers full creative solutions to meet all your demand generatlon needs. These cover the full scope of options, from customized content and lead delivery through to fully integrated campaigns.
Our in-house analyst and editorial team create a range of insights for the global marketing community. These look at IT buying preferences, the latest soclal media trends and other zeitgeist topics.