Millennials in the enterprise, part 2: benchmarking IT’s readiness for the new digital workforce

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Survey methodology
  3. Introduction
  4. Comparing expectations: IT managers and Millennials
  5. Supporting Millennials’ communications expectations
  6. Supporting Millennials’ problem-solving tendencies
  7. Supporting personal technology and anywhere access
  8. IT self-assessment: Peer comparison on Millennial readiness
  9. Key takeaways
  10. Further Reading
  11. About David Card

1. Summary

A new generation, the Millennials, is gaining a significant presence in today’s digital workplace. These young employees were born in the 1980s and later and were raised with ever-present mobile phones, ubiquitous online access and social media. Some media commentators perceive this generation as a coddled one with high expectations, but when it comes to problem solving, Millennials are self-sufficient when they can be and collaborative with one another when they can’t. They’re also highly engaged with technology, and many are interested in learning more.

This report, the second in a two-part series, surveys IT managers about their ability to support Millennials, and it incorporates data from the survey of Millennials that powered the first part of the series. In this report we look at IT departments’ readiness to handle Millennials’ tech-support expectations, their communications channel preferences and their awareness of and adherence to IT policies. We also examine IT’s preparedness to support the technology preferences and problem-solving approaches of Millennials.

Our research also identifies the biggest challenges for IT departments: Millennials have high expectations of immediate response, prefer a wide variety of alternative communications channels and, when it comes to problem solving, tend to rely a bit too much on Google and outside resources for IT management’s tastes. Only 25 percent of IT departments respond within the 10-minute time frame that most Millennials think is adequate. Partly due to IT’s response time but also deriving from self-sufficiency and a desire to help out, 71 percent of Millennials use a search engine to look for answers to tech-support problems, and 24 percent use a forum.

Overall, IT organizations are doing a pretty good job of supporting Millennials’ preference for using personal technology and their need for mobility, but they need to work on creating support systems that cater to Millennials’ desire for immediacy, self- sufficiency and collaboration.

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