Millennials are the single largest generation in the US workforce. One in three employees is a millennial, and in 10 years this age cohort will account for 75% of the workforce. There is no question that this generation is different – they have different priorities in life, different loyalties, and different ways of working. All of this results in Millennials posing the greatest risk to corporate data of any segment of the workforce.
According to the 2015 Internet Trends Report, 87% of US Millennials say their smartphone never leaves their side, day or night. Millennials are demanding, and now expecting, to be able to work whenever and wherever they want, and find their own solutions to remain productive at work. There is a reason that these independent digital natives are called an “IT Department’s worst nightmare,” often solving their own problems (great), or implementing solutions to work (not great) outside the scope of IT’s control.
Randstad recently commissioned a study through IDG Research Services on the Millennial Shift, examining the rapidly changing demands being placed on IT from this generation. IT is being tasked to support greater remote work requirements, more seamless collaboration, all while protecting data – a huge challenge. The survey shows that organizations are already behind the curve in meeting the demands of this generation in terms of data access, meaning employees are probably finding their own ways to access data, and that only half of organizations believe they have the right level of data security.
According to our 2015 US Mobile Device Security Report, Millennials are most likely to modify default settings, use a work device for personal use, or access “not safe for work” content ranging from online banking and shopping to public WiFi and file sharing. Numerous other studies have backed up this data, showing how employees are quick to install apps or use cloud storage services, all without IT’s knowledge.
In the Randstad survey, the top ways to embrace Millennials include the implementation of a BYOD policy, a formal cloud-based option for email and collaboration, and making mobile and cloud-based security a top priority. We agree that Millennials require a custom approach, which should be addressed through education, processes and layered technology solutions to support employee productivity and protect corporate data. At Absolute, we provide the technology solutions to make data protection easy, despite the complexities of people and mobility. Learn more at Absolute.com