Millennials Want More IT Support Than Boomers, Study Finds - InformationWeek

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Millennials Want More IT Support Than Boomers, Study Finds
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Michelle
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Michelle,
User Rank: Ninja
12/11/2015 | 12:05:36 PM
Mileage may vary
"Millennials are more likely to try fixing problems on their own before reaching out to IT"

I haven't found this to be true where I work. I have the opposite experience -- they're more likely to contact support before trying anything on thier own.

 
impactnow
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impactnow,
User Rank: Author
12/11/2015 | 1:21:01 PM
Re: Mileage may vary

I agree Michelle, when I first started working with laptops we did more on our own to address issues. I find most millennials seek help immediately. I am not sure if it's because they feel unqualified to address issues or if the urgency of technology being down drives their sprint to support.

Michelle
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Michelle,
User Rank: Ninja
12/11/2015 | 2:46:11 PM
Re: Mileage may vary
Maybe we're just old techies who don't understand what it means to work with newer tech for the first time (or when it breaks).
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
12/14/2015 | 8:25:01 AM
Re: Mileage may vary
I see the same thing but I think part of this is stereotype and part of it is the maturity of technology.  When I started in IT everything was new and people would poke at a problem trying to fix it on their own because they wanted to understand the technology.  I see a lot of boomers talk about the Millennial generation being tech savvy because they can plug in an HDMI cable.  Sadly, this does not make you savvy, it makes you familiar and that brings me to the next point.  Millennials are familiar with technology being disposable, if it breaks you call and have it replaced, it's not a huge investment anymore, a PC doesn't cost as much as a small car anymore and hardware is less serviceable than it used to be.  When I started on computers you got a paper manual that told you now to open the case and make changes, not anymore...
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
12/14/2015 | 1:17:16 PM
Re: Mileage may vary
Great insight, @SaneIT. The "disposable" nature of today's consumer technology will definitely point someone toward calling in help to get it replaced.

Another factor at play here is that when someone like a Millenial grows up in an uber-connected world, they don't need to tinker and learn how things work. Their iPhone just works. They don't need to know how or why, so they won't be able to troubleshoot problems. Troubleshooting takes patience and curiosity. Today's consumer technology leans toward immediate gratification and entitlement. I am not suggesting that al Millenials focus on the immediate and what they're entitled to. But the way our current technology works, that is a trap that is all too easy to fall into.
vnewman2
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vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
12/14/2015 | 6:18:14 PM
Re: Mileage may vary
The thing I keep running into with recent graduates and the like is that they are MAC users and when they come to corporate they have no idea how to use anything PC.
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
12/14/2015 | 7:08:41 PM
Re: Mileage may vary
We see that a lot, too, @vnewman2. We aren't going to be a Mac shop, so I'm not sure how else to get around that issue.
vnewman2
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vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
12/14/2015 | 7:28:25 PM
Re: Mileage may vary
@jagibbons: Neither are we - the nature of our business prohibits it because there's no Mac-compatible enterprise software that supports what we "sell." The biggest issue we have is people remoting in from MAC devices - whenever there's an iOS upgrade, it is a techonological disaster. We are a Citrix shop.
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
12/14/2015 | 7:36:58 PM
Re: Mileage may vary
I feel your pain.
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
12/15/2015 | 8:15:30 AM
Re: Mileage may vary
I've gone a long way to make services OS independent.  Sure there are things I can do with a Windows PC using group policy that I can't do with OSX but I can deliver most of the services that people need day to day in a way that doesn't force a particular OS on the desktop.  This helps in a lot of areas, not just on the desktop, it means greater flexibility for mobile devices and constantly looking forward.  It doesn't always work, I have one application that is locked into Windows but that is slowly being transitioned into the browser like so many other services have done already.  The OS is fading in importance and most developers are seeing this.
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
12/15/2015 | 8:21:05 AM
Re: Mileage may vary
We build our customer-facing apps to be OS and browser independent. For internal applications and tools, we have chosen not to expend the extra costs to make our Microsoft-heavy environment OS independent. It's a cost/benefit decision for us, and the cost of Macs and all the extras to make them work in a Windows shop is not worth the cost. At least for us.
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
12/16/2015 | 8:35:30 AM
Re: Mileage may vary
That is totally understandable, depending on your industry it may be easier to keep OSX out but creative based industries need that flexibility.  I find that building that inside helps us to deliver externally.  It's not for everyone but I also see it as a future proofing, Win XP was great but if your applications won't run on Win 10 you've got the same problem that you would if OSX was in the mix.  Trying to do as much as we can independent of OS removes legacy systems and keeps us moving forward. 
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
12/16/2015 | 8:38:12 AM
Re: Mileage may vary
With some legacy tools, like our old, but still working, financial package, the options are limited.
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
12/17/2015 | 8:30:15 AM
Re: Mileage may vary
I feel your pain there.  I have that one legacy system that I hear promises about and have beta versions of its browser based interface but they just can't move quickly enough for me.  There are options though, I'll be doing a fair amount of ETL this coming year to minimize who has to access that system through its current interface.  It doesn't remove the need for some Windows installs to access it directly but it does open up the options for those who only need reporting or snippets of data from it.
vnewman2
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vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
12/17/2015 | 7:57:08 PM
Re: Mileage may vary
Ah @SaneIT - I hope it works out for you! Fingers crossed...
Broadway0474
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Broadway0474,
User Rank: Ninja
12/17/2015 | 12:15:14 AM
Re: Mileage may vary
vnewman, that's hilarious. So what's an enterprise to do. Allow them to switch to Macs at work? (I have to say, upoin seeing the article headline, I came to this article expecting a millennial bashing session --- and am disappinted not find it!).
vnewman2
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vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
12/17/2015 | 1:16:22 AM
Re: Mileage may vary
@Broadway. Exactly. So the tools they are used to using don't translate into the workplace. It's like asking someone who uses pens to write all the time to use a chisel and stone instead. But since you asked for millennial bashing - I will give you some. I've come to the conclusion that technology has become so seamless that they don't really stop to think about what they are doing. It's like they are on autopilot - Which is fine until inevitably something goes wrong and when it does they can't recover.
Broadway0474
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Broadway0474,
User Rank: Ninja
12/20/2015 | 10:11:09 PM
Re: Mileage may vary
vnewman, it's the equivalent of the person who walks around town with his head in his smartphone, not looking up when they cross streets or nearly get trampled. They won't look up until that bus runs them over. That would end their seamless technological experience.
danielcawrey
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danielcawrey,
User Rank: Ninja
12/11/2015 | 8:29:03 PM
Re: Mileage may vary
It's no surprise Millenials are taking on trying to fix their IT problems themselves. Most of them have some idea about how to fix computer issues. Even so, that doesn't mean they will always have the admin abilities to fix anything. 
jastroff
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jastroff,
User Rank: Ninja
12/11/2015 | 8:43:44 PM
Re: Mileage may vary
Maybe they can wait for the iGens (Gen Z) generation to come of age and staff up all the IT support jobs they don't want! Really, we need to have people who want to take the support jobs, otherwise, we are sunk
Brian.Dean
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Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
12/12/2015 | 8:52:33 PM
Re: Mileage may vary
Good point. The majority of Millennials have a good understanding of technology and a large number of Millennials are actually creating technology and systems. For instance, solar energy technology has had MPPT and PWM charge controller technology for a long time but, a large user base is designing Arduino and Raspberry Pi based charge controllers for data mining and optimization of solar systems, etc. These individuals rely upon community support to improve their design but, overall it is an internal improvement loop that develops the entire support community. 


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