Millennials are redefining the way technology is used in the workplace. They are facilitating the integration of technology into the workplace, and increasingly demonstrate that technology doesn’t necessarily need to be divided between professional and personal use.
In fact, our research, The next generation worker: The Citizen Developer, found that more than half of Millennials that identified themselves as Citizen Developers noted that they feel they should have the freedom to choose the software and applications they use as part of their daily work instead of IT or managers. It also showed that 73 percent of Millennials that classify themselves as Citizen Developers expect to be able to modify and customize their work computer or laptop by adding software and applications whenever needed.
Millennials in the workplace want to be efficient and productive, but they want it on their own terms. They want to work with more mobility and freedom, which has only accelerated the development of BYOD strategies and the rise of the Citizen Developer.
It’s this desire for freedom among Millennials that is causing headaches for IT professionals. The trend isn’t showing any signs of slowing, as the lines between personal and professional apps continue to blur. But this change in the workplace does not have to be problematic for anyone and could actually help bridge the gap between Millennials and IT departments.
The common complaint shared by IT professionals is not knowing when Millennials are bringing their own devices, using apps they have chosen for work or creating their own applications. One simple way to alleviate this problem is by opening dialogue between Millennials and IT professionals. They should discuss new apps, arrange how-to sessions, and send emails discussing these topics. This will bring IT professionals back into the technology integration process, while still allowing Millennials the freedom to choose the apps and devices that best suit their needs and to increase their productivity and efficiency.
Communicating about the apps being developed and used will also eliminate security concerns—another IT problem that increased as a result of the BYOD and Citizen Developer era. By working together, Millennial employees and IT departments can evaluate the applications and devices being used to make sure that they don’t pose any security risks.
When Millennials and IT departments start working together to introduce new devices and apps, companies are likely to see the benefits of this increased flexibility across their organizations.
What else do you think Millennials and IT professionals can do to bridge the gap between them in the workplace? Share your thoughts in the comments.