The new generation of IT workforce has never been far from tech but when it comes to IT understanding, it’s surprising that they aren’t really as smart and adaptive as their elder counterparts. Research recently conducted by Barco and Vanson Bourne suggests that 56% of Gen X and Millennial employees aren’t savvy enough to find solutions to tech problems themselves. Consequently, this is also the generation that relies on the maximum assistance when it comes to understanding and resolving something new. At the core of this behavior is the heavy influence and dependence on advanced technology solutions Millennials are accustom to that require limited troubleshooting. We are a generation that has been spoiled by instant gratification. Mobile devices have ensured that we have access to simplistic, comprehensive solutions. This makes us feel uncomfortable when it comes to desktop issues and time-consuming infrastructure or networking problems.
It’s a confusing contradiction. Though we are adept at using social media and have a thorough understanding of ecommerce, things have also been designed to be easier to understand. The true definition of being tech-savvy would have been to be able to handle and ‘wrap around it.’ The same way platforms like WordPress make it easier for use to design a website; the convenience also ensures that we never get to know the core of scripting. Consequently, when an issue beyond visual intuitiveness arises, we are clueless.
Additional research validates the above facts and compares the level of tech proficiency among U.S. Millennials. Conducted by OECD, it suggests that only about 19% of the respondents (between 16 and 34 years of age) will be able to use “one function within a single generic interface.” This means that the remaining 81% of Millennials will have problems sorting the email responses to a party invitation and sort them into folders to be able to keep better track of the confirmed guest list. Similarly 66% of Millennials will not be able to locate certain information on a spreadsheet document and email it. While these are becoming more common workplace occurrences, imagine the trouble the younger generation will have solving infrastructure, networking or server related problems.
Although the skill levels of business professionals are expanding, they are becoming limited to specialist roles. The average mobile savvy youngster of today will have trouble working in a desktop environment in comparison to Baby Boomers, who have shown more resolve and experience working around daily problems. They aren’t looking for an instant solution and will be able to research around to find a solution. The internet is a world of information, only if we have the zeal to look around. Generation X will however feel alienated and will require stronger support and guidance from tech teams beyond what previous generation would need. Here is an interesting facts about Why an employee asks for IT assistance when they have problem using technology to present?
The consequence of this behavior isn’t just restricted to not being able to use a desktop appropriately. The Barco findings also revealed that the most common (50%) of the presentation related problems are due to limited understanding of connected hardware – laptops, tablets, projectors, A/V units and other devices that are usually a part of a meeting room. Now, ineffective presentation technology coupled by the inability for an immediate solution (hardware related) also lead to loss of business and credibility. As many as 6 in 10 (60%) businesses report that that hardware issues have been the reason for ineffective or incomplete presentations. For IT decision makers, the go-to solutions are technologies that are quick to setup, automatic and easy. The below screenshot depict the digital skill gap of employees about technology problem raised against other IT problems.
The top 5 reasons why employees of Gen X rely on IT support units include:
- Inappropriate digital exposure (limited to mobile environments and social media) – 56%
- Technology being too complex to understand / fix – 42%
- Less time / patience to solve problems – 40%
- Limited training – 52%
- Some even go on to believe it’s not their job to deal with tech issues – 33% of them!
Similarly, the main reasons why board meetings get unsuccessful include:
- Inability to connect hardware – 74%
- Inability to use presentation/meeting software – 67%
- Lack of knowledge about how to join web conferences – 60%
- Inability to use ancillary equipment – 51%
- No idea about fixing ad hoc problems / bug – 62%
- Lastly, the inability to turn on presentation equipments – 53%
The numbers might be surprising for someone who has been self taught and adaptive to the changing business environment. With digital devices and technology becoming a part of every professional / workplace setup, not having the required skills can be crippling. We are a generation that wants to get the work done “on a touch of a button” and this has led to the change in technological innovations. But the convenience only encourages our unwillingness to learn or adapt.