CIOs who think that BYOD (bring-your-own-device) is a fad that is starting to fade away are wrong. CIOs who think they can abandon the practice of creating BYOD polices risk upsetting an important and growing constituency of their workforce: millennials, who are also known as GenY. Attracting this type of worker has become a part of the importance of information technology.
The Power Of Millennials
Guess what — BYOD in the workplace skews toward younger segments of employees, according to a consulting report. Almost two-thirds of millennials use a personal device at work compared with just a third of Baby Boomers. 60% of IT workers in their 20s and 30s used a personal device or app for work.
Taken in the aggregate, there’s a near-even split between workers that incorporate personal tech into work and those that do not. Looking more closely at the demographic breakdowns, however, it’s abundantly clear that this practice is far more prevalent, and therefore valued, by younger workers.
What we need to understand is that there’s no question that millennials want employers to support BYOD, and CIOs had better cater to their needs. This leads to the question of why are millennials so important? Simple, they make up the largest segment of the workforce, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
We have just experienced a seismic shift in generational makeup, one with an interesting twist. As the 50-and-over Baby Boomers start to retire, they are being replaced by 20-to-34-year-old millennials. Guess what — the 35-to-49-year-old GenX-ers are relatively few in number. This means that millennials will soon leapfrog GenX in the workplace.
We are already starting to see this. In Silicon Valley tech companies are fighting to hire millennials. One way that they are doing this is by pitching technology flexibility, such as BYOD, and other perks to woo them. GenX is tech savvy, while GenY is more tech dependent
A Successful Digital Transformation Begins with a Cultural Transformation
The report on millennials offers some insight into the millennial mindset when it comes to reliance on technology. It turns out that 43 percent of 18-24-year-olds say that texting is just as meaningful as an actual conversation with someone over the phone. 40 percent of GenY think that blogging about workplace issues is acceptable, compared to 28 percent of Baby Boomers. 24 percent of GenY say that technology use is what makes their generation unique. This is the number 1 answer. Finally, 74 percent of GenY used a smartphone for work purposes in the last year, compared to 37 percent of Baby Boomers.
On the social media front, 39 percent of 20-something workers and 36 percent of 30-something workers use Facebook for both work and personal purposes. In comparison, only 20% of Baby Boomers use Facebook for both work and personal purposes.
Millennials and GenX believe social media savvy is an important skill set for work, but millennials are the ones who expect social media access at work without restrictions. The person with the CIOs job will play an important role in recruiting millennials to their companies. Consider this stat: it has been found that three out of four men, ages 20 to 49, consider a potential employer’s level of tech-savvy a significant factor in choosing to work there.
This means the person in the CIO position will need to showcase their company’s tech coolness factor and flexibility to appeal to GenY, and BYOD can help. Millennials not only rely on technology, they often feel clunky and dated devices issued to them by their companies don’t play to their strengths. BYOD is an option granted to them to use the technology of their choosing. Put another way, two-thirds of Millennials assessed their own technology acumen as “cutting edge” or “upper tier,” and CIOs will have the job of catering to this type of customer.
What All Of This Means For You
The millennials have arrived! This is going to have a significant impact on who wants to work at your company. In order to be able to attract the best and the brightest of the new pool of talent that is out there, your firm is going to have to be able to appear to be tech-savvy. As the CIO what this means for you is that you’ve got some work to do. You are going to have to draft a BYOD plan and get it implemented at your company so that you can have a hope of attracting the candidates that your company is going to need going forward.
Question For You: Do you think that your BYOD policy should apply to all of an employee’s digital devices or should their be limits?
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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
There are a lot of high profile CIO jobs out there. However, one of the ones that has the most attention being directed towards it is being the CIO at the gigantic retailer Walmart. Think about it – there is a Walmart in just about every town and we all go to Walmart every so often to get things. The IT side of Walmart has to operate smoothly or else there will be trouble for everyone. What is it going to take to do this job well?