Digital natives entering the job market - What will happen?

Digital natives, a term coined by Marc Prensky [thanks to Anna Kirah for the correction] for the generation that has grown up using all sorts of IT devices from a very young age (probably before the age of 2).

The digital natives are now entering businesses. This will change a lot.

Digital natives don't believe in authorities. They don't like to be constrained to corporate standards for IT devices. They want to choose devices that suit their personal way of working.

Digital natives don't believe in working 9-to-5 they are the always-on generation mixing social life and work life. They don't like to be constrained as to which websites they are allowed to visit during work hours.

Digital natives like to experiment with applications to get exactly what they need for their personal way of working. They don't want to wait for IT to complete a project to acquire new functionality they just want to buy and download what they think will work for them (probably open source or cheap community based software).

The digital natives are entering all lines of business - It is not an internal IT issue as many CIOs unfortunately think.

IT will have to speed up and open up to brand new requirements. That is a challenge!

It will have a huge influence on the way IT Governance is conducted. It will have a huge influence on the Enterprise Architecture and the Application Portfolio. IT Security will have to be changed fundamentally from controlling the perimeter to protecting individual data items.

EHC LogoErik Haahr
ErikHaahr Consult
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Graeme Spice

graemespice-129419

Digital natives entering the job market - What will happen?

I think theres a difference in being able to do what you are told and being as effective as possible which applies to all employees. Ideally the workplace should provide technology that supports different ways of working and doesn't restrict anyone within reason. Technology should be an enable - unlocking the potential of your employees not shackles you put on them. The only issue is this is how you manage the support of such a flexible environment - Corporates have spent years building standard desktop builds and common software sets for user roles - this would blow all that away. Maybe this is purely the domain of the SME? Graeme Kind Regards, Graeme Spice Principal Consultant G Spice Consulting Ltd. Twitter @spice1971 Skype graeme_upc_work M: +44 7809 777419 Yateley Hants UK ________________________________________

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Erik Haahr

erikhaahr-88529

Re: Is this really a new phenomenon?

It is not new with non-conformists - BUT the massive number of non-conformists is a new phenomenon. Steve writes: "If there aren't enough of those jobs, they will have to adopt corporate working conditions or face unemployment." No they won't - because companies will be unable to find enough conform candidates for available jobs. The companies will have to change so employment of non-conformists will not damage the company - Thats exactly the challenge. Erik HaahrErikHaahr ConsultBetter IT at a lower costemail | web | profile | twitter | blog | Skype

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Graeme Spice

graemespice-129419

Digital natives entering the job market - What will happen?

Excellent article Erik, I would say nearing 40 I am at the bleeding edge of this group (don't laugh!) have always been a non conformist in corporate life and there's nothing you can't do with a netbook and free software than a 1000 pound corporate build handicapped Laptop will do. I find now being my own boss frees me up to experiment but tempered with understanding and caring about any risk to my own company data and security. I know enough about technology to make an educated judgement on this. My kids generation who will enter the workplace over the next 10 years will be different again I'm sure. I'm involved in office of the future discussions with clients - this is an interesting concept because the workplace needs to cater for the technopobe luddites who never adopted technology (I still know senior execs who have their PA's print out every email for them to read) right through to the people you see coming along who will have high expectations on the technology capabilties of a business. I think a lot of these new entrants will look at the technology capabilities of potential employers before jumping in - so employers who want to attract the best talent will need to step up their games! Graeme Kind Regards, Graeme Spice Principal Consultant G Spice Consulting Ltd. Twitter @spice1971 Skype graeme_upc_work M: +44 7809 777419 Yateley Hants UK ________________________________________

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Stuart Harris

stuartharris-72577

Digital natives are EXTREMELY vulnerable

Any digital technology relies on very complex equipment that no one person understands entirely. If any piece of it goes wrong - the mobile phone, the router, the camera, the computer, the car - it cannot be tinkered to fix. It's usually a matter of replacing it. For digital natives, "hands-on" means keyboard or touch screen. Digital natives' experience of the world is mediated by digital technology to an extent only imagined in Science Fiction a few decades ago. Above all, digital natives rely on electricity. Imagine a scenario in which there is a power outage lasting a day and there's no back-up power. Extend that to a few days. Digital natives will survive, of course, but one of the essential elements of their world would be missing. Richer Thinking and Writing Richer Conversation

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Steve Green

stevegreen

Is this really a new phenomenon?

There have always been people who won't accept authority and will break corporate policy when it suits them - this has been my modus operandi since the 1970s. 15 years ago I spreadsheeted a crude, but effective, manufacturing planning system because the corporate ERP system didn't do what I wanted it to do. What's new? People with this kind of attitude (myself included) don't belong in large companies where a degree of rigidity and conformity is necessary to prevent chaos. We should run our own businesses or work for small companies where this behaviour is beneficial rather than damaging. To some extent it doesn't matter what this new generation likes or doesn't like. If they can find employment in appropriate companies, they will get on fine. If there aren't enough of those jobs, they will have to adopt corporate working conditions or face unemployment. As an employer you have to understand that the most talented people sometimes don't fit in your company. The question then is whether to adapt the company to accommodate the individuals. Some of this new generation will be worth the risk and effort, but many won't. Steve Green Director Test Partners Ltd (software and website testing), Accessibility and Usability Club

1 comments