There’s a new force changing the telecom asset management landscape: Millennials. More than one-in-three American workers today are Millennials and, in 2015, they surpassed Generation X to become the largest proportion of the American workforce. As I can personally attest, Millennials are digital natives – technologies like computers and mobile phones have acted as our new-age pacifiers. To some extent, we take telecom asset management for granted. We often demand it at work.
This demographic is vastly different from previous generations, and enterprises need to not only understand these differences, but also provide us with an environment that fosters productivity and success. (And no, this doesn’t just mean free snacks, a ping-pong table and beer on tap – but those don’t hurt!)
As Millennials, we’re torn; we hate to perpetuate stereotypes about our entire generation (lazy and entitled?!), but we also love talking about ourselves. When it comes to telecom asset management, there are six enterprise trends most Millennials can agree on:
Telecom Asset Management Desire #1: We’re comfortable with lots of assets and technologies, but we have our telecom asset management preferences.
Millennials grew up using a lot of different devices, applications and operating systems; we’re comfortable learning how to use new gadgets. However, as digital natives and dependents, we have developed specific telecom asset management preferences. Expect Millennials to want to use their preferred assets and apps at work.
Telecom Asset Management Desire #2: We believe work can be done from anywhere, at any time.
Gone are the days of nine-to-five, clocking in and out and being shackled to a desktop computer. Mobile devices have made it possible to check and respond to email on the go, send files via Instant Message (IM) and work from anywhere with a Wi-Fi connection. Expect Millennials to work remotely and outside traditional office hours.
Telecom Asset Management Desire #3: We love to collaborate, and we value telecom asset management efforts that support it.
Despite what people may say, Millennials are team players. We’ve had group projects and team sports drilled into us from a young age, and these skills and preferences have translated to the workforce. Communications technologies like Slack, Google Docs, video/voice conferencing and screen sharing are intuitive to us. Expect Millennials to value these technologies and integrate them into their daily workflow.
Telecom Asset Management Desire #4: We don’t believe there should be any limits to mobile.
Millennials are more comfortable texting than talking – it’s just how we’ve grown up (ICYMI). What aren’t we comfortable with? Telecom asset management with limits of any kind. We expect to use our mobile devices for anything and everything, and often this means using cellular data if a secure Wi-Fi connection is not available. Expect Millennials to exceed their monthly data, voice or text plan if it’s too limited or restrictive.
Telecom Asset Management Desire #5: We have assets all the time, and we tend to wear them down quickly.
Millennials use mobile devices constantly – some of us even sleep with them. This daily usage exposes any one asset to the elements and can necessitate frequent repairs or replacements (particularly that oh-so-fragile screen). Expect Millennials to request device upgrades or repairs often, especially as the line between personal and corporate devices becomes blurred.
Telecom Asset Management Desire #6: We think technology should just work. Period.
Millennials have probably never touched or even seen an instruction manual. Instead, we prefer to play around with technology until we can figure it out. We expect problems to be infrequent, insubstantial and easy to resolve; we have limited tolerance for device downtime or lengthy support processes. Expect Millennials to lack patience for technology that doesn’t perform or for telecom asset management processes that offer slow resolutions.
What this means for telecom asset management:
These generalizations are increasingly coming into play not just with mobile devices but also with connected devices such as Internet of Things (IoT) assets, wearables and sensors. How can enterprises ensure Millennials remain productive and satisfied while simultaneously taking steps to protect assets and business information?
Few telecom asset management efforts are equipped to fully support technology in-house. If enterprises were a little more lazy (we prefer the term efficient), they’d likely all be using Managed Mobility Services (MMS) to reduce costs, accelerate logistics and business processes, configure assets with standard application security environments, support enterprise technologies, facilitate BYOD and other flexible device ownership policies and more frequently refresh asset inventories.
Millennials aren’t going anywhere, so it’s time modern enterprises start paying attention if they haven’t already. Though we sometimes get a bad rap, our comfort with technology is a key workplace strength. As for face-to-face communication? We’re working on it. Talk to one of Tangoe’s enterprise technology experts to see how our Enterprise Technology Management solutions can prepare your organization for the next generation of work.