Technology plays a more prominent role in millennials’ daily lives than any other generation. More often than not, they are early adopters of new technologies. They usually lead the pack in the smartphone, tablet, and social media use andownership.
This generation, born between 1981 and 1996, has an increasing influence on the world. They are expected to make up to a third of the workforce by 2023. They are changing traditional processes and incorporating new technologies.
Millennials are transforming the workforce, especially how organizations implement digital transformation (DX) and practice cybersecurity.
Driving Digital Transformation
If you ask ten companies what digital transformation is, you will likely get ten different answers. Most of the time, the answer usually depends on each organization’s level in integrating technology into their workflow.
Digital transformation can be broad and interpreted differently. However, in business terms, it means embracing digital technology to create new ones. It also means modifying existing business processes, culture, and customer experiences. This helps an organization meet changing business and market requirements.
Technology isn’t driving digital transformation. Digital natives are. Digital natives or ‘millennials’ have been engrossed in the digital landscape throughout their lives and are always ready for the next big thing. They leverage their know-how to drive technological change that makes work more efficient.
Indeed, millennials are the drivers of digital transformation in most workplaces today. Some of the leading technologies and trends they’re latching onto include:
● The cloud – Most of this generation is knowledgeable about this term. We’ve been storing photos, videos, and other data in the cloud for years. So, when millennials enter the workforce, they will most likely advocate the adoption of this software to stay competitive.
● Social media – Social networking sites have made a massive impact on businesses. Millennials are one of the driving forces behind this switch. More and more companies are hiring millennials to devise strategies to use these platforms for financial and brand awareness advantages.
● Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) – BYOD is a policy that allows employees in an organization to use their personal devices for work-related activities. These activities include connecting to organizational networks and accessing work-related systems and data. Millennials are the biggest users of technological devices, and as such, they’re most likely to advocate for introducing BYOD models in the modern workplace.
● Big data analytics – This uses advanced analytic techniques and software to examine enormous data resources to uncover information such as hidden patterns, correlations, market trends and other insights that help-make data-informed decisions.
Most millennials understand how important big data analytics is in the current business environment. They will most likely encourage these techniques and software to stay competitive.
The above are just some of the technologies and techniques millennials are leveraging for the workplace.
Some of the newer technologies that are on the upswing and essential to working millennials include artificial intelligence (AI), Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices, augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR).
This generation is usually dissatisfied with old technologies in the office. They prefer high-tech offices equipped with the latest technology to help make work easier, efficient, and time-saving.
By 2025, 75% of the workforce will be millennials. While they won’t expect 100 per cent adoption of cutting edge technologies by employers, they’ll need to know that companies are revolutionary in the tools they provide to employees.
Therefore, businesses will need to embrace digital transformation to stay competitive in the future market space.
Understanding the Millennial Cybersecurity Gap
The rising number of devices connected to corporate networks increases the attack surface and creates unforeseen vulnerabilities. Most millennials tend to be careless about device and application security. According to a survey of 3,359 people between the ages of 18 and 26 in nine countries, it was found that:
● 63% click on potentially dangerous links to malicious websites.
● 42% reveal their passwords to non-family members.
● 74% in the U.S. use public Wi-Fi despite the obvious security risks.
Millennials who are leveraging the benefits of new technologies need to be mindful of protecting valuable data on their devices. Understanding the importance of securing devices and accounts is essential to driving cybersecurity efforts and ensuring the growth of an organization.
Some of the things to be mindful of are:
● Threat landscape dynamics – New technologies hugely stretch the threat landscape. Unsecured IoT devices can become access points for cybercriminals, and photos or videos shared online can contain malicious code that breaches the corporate network. What’s more, newer devices like AR, VR, and AI are also vulnerable to breaches.
● Seamless security – Elaborate passwords and one-time security codes can be clunky and negatively impact user experience. Organizations should implement user-friendly security that doesn’t limit device interaction like biometric finger sensors and single sign-on access. This can be achieved while also implementing identity theft protection.
● Rapid technology change – The life cycles of technology products and services are getting shorter, even more so for consumer devices. Cybersecurity teams need to be flexible to secure technology or business processes before evolving.
● Increasing oversight – Some governments and businesses bolster regulation and supervision to safeguard data. For example, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation helps protect user data and privacy. Also, in response to an increase in malicious content, Facebook, Google, YouTube, and Twitter have cracked down on perpetrators.
Education about Online Safety
Formal and informal education about practicing online safety, protecting online accounts, identity theft protection, and general cybersecurity is vital in today’s world.
In one research, participants of various age groups were asked if they had received education or online classes about internet safety. The results were as follows:
● Age 18-22– 41% responded Yes and 59% No.
● Age 23-35– 59% answered Yes and 41% No.
● Age 36+– 57% answered Yes and 43% No.
The percentage of yes responses among the older generation could be attributed to the fact that most workplaces require training sessions for computer and internet use.
Most of the younger generation are starting their education and careers without online safety information and training. Introducing online and internet safety education has been a topic of discussion in the education industry for years now. These classes would come in handy when the “millennials” ultimately enter the workforce.
To raise security awareness, we must discuss cyber security best practices and what good digital hygiene means. From working professionals to teens and young adults, this is an issue that affects all groups of people. In addition, companies, schools, and parents need to think creatively about security in general.
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