So-called “digital natives” – the millennial generation – are accustomed to using their mobile devices for everyday life activities.
Those of a certain generation remember computers as something sitting in a glass room. The succeeding generation thought of them as sitting on a desktop. The millennials – so-called “digital natives” – often think of them as something that fits into their pocket. More than any other generation, they carry their everyday lives in that pocket: their friends, their money, their stores, their photos, and more.
As these digital natives enter the professional workforce, they also carry something else in their pocket: their work. They want one mobile device, not two or three. They want a mobile device that lets them communicate whatever way they want – by voice, by instant message, by e-mail – and to interact not only with people but also with back-end systems, applications, and more.
Millennials are accustomed to being digital consumers – of airlines, of retailers, even of medical services – through their mobile devices. In keeping with their personal life, it’s no surprise they want the same kind of access to work-related information. They look at smartphones as the door to the digital world, the pathway to colleagues as well as friends, to corporate data as much as movie reviews.
Fortunately, the technology exists to help enterprises support this millennial mindset. With carrier-developed apps that allow instant and secure corporate access from smartphones, cloud-based voice systems, and unified communications as a service, enterprises can ensure millennials (and, as a bonus, “digital immigrants”) are highly productive almost as soon as they walk in the door.
At a time when the talent wars are raging more intensely than ever before, employers who understand this digital devotion among younger employees – and who make access to corporate information simpler, whether through a private or public cloud – will succeed at enticing and retaining millennial talent.