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Chris Fleck

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Millenials Impact on Business Technology

The IT strategy's to consider

Millenials Impact on Business Technology

The Millennial Generation, aged 18 to 34 is having an increased impact on business technology. Born into the age of the PC and early internet this demographic is more proficient and demanding of apps, devices and IT services than earlier generations. In the past progressive IT organizations would consider this group as a category to accommodate, making the company appealing to college recruits and new hires. More recently however, this generation is now mainstream with increased influence driving IT strategy. They now include partners at large firms, doctors that never used paper charts and executives making purchase decisions.

The IT strategy's to consider which not only accommodate, but to prioritize for Millennials include:

BYOD- Bring You Own Device. Originally championed by Citrix and now a consideration of every IT organization. Don't think a Millennial knowledge worker will be satisfied with a clunky locked down laptop or smartphone that they can's install their own apps. This does not mean anything goes with no control. But it is possible for IT to provide Virtual Desktops like XenDesktop for safe access from personal PC's, Mac's and tablets. For Smartphones, Mobile Application Management ( MAM ) like XenMobile can manage only the apps and data on personal smartphones. So if a device is lost or an employee leaves, only the company data is wiped and not the personal photos etc.

Work from Anywhere - Millennial's want the option to work from anywhere, whether that is the coffee shop, home, or on a trip. This does not necessarily mean a dedicated remote workforce, but it does mean providing flexible work schedules including working outside the office. This could mean once a week, or on occasion like sick kids or contractors at home. Again the right IT tools need to be provided so all the required apps and data are available but not compromised from data loss.

User Experience - Take what your given and live with it, is no longer an acceptable IT mandate to employees. Millennials have a low tolerance for bad user experience. If IT only provides apps and services that meet the security requirements but ignores user experience the chances are they will find a way around IT. Also know as shadow IT, this happens when IT does not provide safe apps and services with a good user experience. A classic example is employees using personal dropbox accounts for saving and sharing company documents. Alternatively a service like Sharefile can provide employees the function and user experience they want yet allow IT to keep the control they need to protect company IP.

Workplace of the Future -  A drab office with a sea of cubicles is not a compelling environment for Millennial's ( nor anyone else.. ). Progressive organizations are building new digital workplaces that have lots of collaboration spaces and architectural personality. They are also using beacons and IoT to make the office smart and more productive. When combined with Work from Anywhere capabilities and unassigned offices & cubicles, many organizations are saving millions in real estate costs by increasing occupancy and density per square foot. Conventionally shrinking space can be a turn off, but a new cool office can make it fun to come to the office and help recruit and maintain the best talent.

More Stories By Chris Fleck

Chris Fleck is Vice President of Emerging Solutions at Citrix Systems. Chris started his career at IBM working across multiple engineering and product organizations leading to Business Unit Exec of the IBM Industrial Computer Group. As a pioneer of new technologies, Chris founded an IBM spin-off to commercialize the initial Server Blade products as CEO of OmniCluster Technologies. At Citrix Chris is responsible for Emerging Solutions and is involved with or leading strategic initiatives at the company. You can follow him on Twitter and his blog at TechInstigator.com