Monday, 18 February 2008

Managing a multi-generational IT workforce

Hot off the press, CSC's Leading Edge Forum has just published a new report on managing a multi-generational IT workforce*, which was based on the analysis of themes from structured surveys and one-to-one interviews with IT executives. Just flicking through its forty-or-so pages this morning, this part stands out because this report confirms some of the assumptions many of us building our Enterprise 2.0 thinking on:

"Most younger workers are heavy users of technology in their personal lives. As more enter the workforce they bring knowledge and skills about newer technology and expectations about how it should be used in their jobs to challenge the status quo. For example, young people routinely use social networking and collaborative technologies to connect with their friends and to build professional networks. As a result, they are used to far more technologically-mediated communications and want their employers to adopt more of these tools in the workplace so they can use them to link to their professional networks, keep up with peer groups and forge knowledge links while at work."

I suspect this particular point has wider ramifications beyond the IT function. What do you think?

*BTW Sorry, this report is brand new and only available to LEF subscribers.


  1. That's a great point. Do you think that the E2.0 stuff is really a generational thing?

    I love the term "Forging Knowledge Links". Next time someone asks me what I'm working on, I'm gonna say that. :)

  2. One of the issues is defining 'technology' or 'social network users' by age. It's more of a way of thinking; for example, some people can get into collaboration without face time, while others need face time (if only to put a face to a name).

    A typical example of even the former, though, is the amount of face time people like you (and Scoble and Hugh Macleod and others) spend networking face-to-face at the various conferences you go to.

    ANYONE (whatever their age) in a support role (IT or otherwise) ends up needing SN tools (old or new) for communication with their customers. The driver behind this is that support costs have already been pared to a minimum, so there is little or no travel budget to travel to remote (i.e. 2 hours plus travel) customers.

    Of course, the multi-generational workforce has other issues besides who can and can't use modern SN tools anyway; Jealousies and resentments over favouritism (perceived and otherwise). Use or otherwise of modern SN tools is just another way of forming a group (Golfers v non-Golfers, Tweeters V non-Tweeters, Call2Duty v Doom, etc).


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