The most recent batch of information technology professionals is a determined bunch. However, with lofty aspirations and a desire to excel on a more individual level, millennial staff members are not the easiest employees for chief information officers to manage.
There is no doubt that having an ample number of younger IT representatives on salary can greatly benefit IT departments. Not only are they more likely up to date with the latest technological tools, but their innovative spirits are able to drive companies forward so that they stay ahead of the curve in terms of the solutions employed throughout their operations.
That said, there are various issues that CIOs could encounter when it comes to reining in these progressive professionals’ enthusiasm. Because they have such high hopes, these employees can sometimes become distracted with their own ambitions. On top of this, they do not always see eye to eye with more mature coworkers who take a more traditional approach to IT.
Generational discrepancies impact view of IT
InformationWeek stated that as more millennials enter the workforce, many CIOs are expected to face management obstacles presented by widening generational gaps. As IT professionals belonging to Generation Y have grown up with continuously advancing tools infiltrating nearly every aspect of their daily lives, the way in which they view and value technology differs entirely from their predecessors’ take on IT.
IT is not a separate entity for younger professionals. Because technology plays an integral role in everything that they do, millennials’ career objectives are not limited to progressing to a CIO or other IT executive role. Instead, this new wave of representatives has an all-encompassing scope of their ultimate professional goals. The news source explained that recent industry research indicated that almost two-thirds of millennials hope to one day be the CEO of their own business. In comparison, only 32 percent of them reported wanting to eventually land an upper-level position in the tech department.
This mentality could pose some problems for CIOs who are responsible for keeping these employees on track. On one hand, the enthusiasm and determination to push ahead can be helpful to IT departments. But on the other, this same drive can interfere with their ability to work alongside more seasoned colleagues whose stance on technology and its role throughout a business may be more compartmentalized.
Jack Cullen, an IT recruiting expert, explained the unique disposition of many millennials to InformationWeek, stating that, “They’re programmed a little differently. They’re very entrepreneurial. They’re very smart. The toughest thing is how you cross-pollinate particularly the [Baby] Boomer generation with the millennial.”
New tools to alter business and tech relationship
Perhaps the most notable difference between more mature IT professionals and millennials is how they interpret the relationship between business operations and tech functions. While millennials often maintain that new IT concepts come first, around which entrepreneurs can build their companies, Baby Boomers put business first. From Generation Y’s standpoint, this previous attitude toward technology is too limiting, preventing individuals from making significant strides because they’re overly concerned with the business logistics rather than innovation.
If CIOs are finding it challenging to adopt the millennial mentality when it comes to running their tech departments, then they may want to start thinking like their younger employees. For instance, InformationWeek recommended that IT executives implement innovative solutions that would please the consumer masses.
Millennials are well aware that consumers have served as the driving force behind technological advancement. For this reason, CIOs should strive to center their operations and all of their functions on the most recent trends employed by the public.
Recent solutions could unite IT employees
IT executives should consider implementing solutions that will allow for clearer communication, improved sharing capabilities and more flexible functionality. This means that, as millennial employees may have already pointed out, switching to the cloud is key. Additionally, mobile applications that enable representatives to perform vital tasks and relay data to other members of their IT teams from anywhere in the world are vital.
With these solutions in place, CIOs can make their IT operations more millennial-friendly. On top of that, more experienced professionals who are a part of previous generations can quickly be brought up to speed in terms of utilizing technological solutions that have a well-rounded application throughout various aspects of businesses. In the end, this could hopefully unite representatives under one set of progressive tools, bridging the generational gap while keeping millennials focused on the IT aspect of their roles.
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