Millennials unaware of or ignoring corporate IT rules

More than half of the working Millennials polled for an Accenture Ltd. study said that were either unaware of their company’s IT policies or are not willing to follow them.

The company surveyed 400 members of the Millennial generation – those age 14-27 — to determine their technology needs and desires.

Of the 169 college graduates that are working full- or part-time, 40 per cent said that their companies have detailed policies on posting work or client information online. Of those, 6 per cent said they post such information despite rules prohibiting it. About 31 per cent of working Millennials said they are unaware whether their companies have policies prohibiting the posting of such information and 17 per cent said their employer has no such policy.

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Accenture noted that both working and student members of the Millennial generation said that they expect to use their personal technology and mobile devices for work assignments. Many say that a company’s willingness to accommodate those desires is a key factor in accepting a job offer, Accenture noted.

The large number of respondents who are either unaware of or unwilling to follow their company’s IT policies has “profound implications,” noted Gary Curtis, Accenture’s chief technology strategist.

“[With Millennials], there’s a whole different view of authority,” he added. “We have got to do better at understanding how to make this kind of policy appeal to them on a logical, sound basis to make sure they understand why it is in their best interest. Many companies need to do a better job of writing [IT policies] in sensible, plain English — getting the legalese out of the loop and writing a policy that any person can understand. We all need work on more prominent dissemination of our technology policies and all the things that they cover.”

Many of the working Millennials listed several unsupported technologies that they use for job-related activities, such as mobile phones (39 per cent), social networking sites (28 per cent), instant messaging products (27 per cent), open source technology (19 per cent) and online applications (12 per cent), according to Accenture.

In addition, many of those surveyed reported that they regularly download non-standard technology from free public Web sites like open source communities and mashup and widget providers. Three quarters of those surveyed said that they have accessed online collaborative tools, and 71 per cent said they have accessed online applications from free public Web sites when those technologies were not available at work, Accenture said.

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In almost every category of technology in the workplace, at least 20 per cent of Millennials said that products provided by their companies did not meet their needs.

And one-third of the 189 college-age Millennials surveyed said they expect to use the computer model and applications of their choice in future jobs, according of the study.

The study also found that more than half of all 400 Millennials surveyed said that cutting-edge technology is or will be an important consideration when choosing an employer. Millennials also said that they expect employers to provide communications channels like online chat, instant messaging and mobile text messaging and RSS feeds for them to communicate with their clients.

At the same time, only 6 per cent of working Millennials said their company provides online chat and instant messaging tools, while 5 per cent said their organization supports text messaging or provides RSS feeds.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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