Millennials and Risk

Interesting article here on Security Focus entitled “IT Risk and the Millennials” about the Generation Y workforce, their expectations, associated consumersation of IT and the risks that come along with it.

According to the article, “Millennials are demonstrating that the consumerization of IT can actually increase productivity and reduce costs.” I disagree. I don’t believe that anyone can yet demonstrate anything of the sort and the quoted example given that “you can’t deny the cost savings being recognized with free and low-cost VoIP technology, such as Skype” is unfounded. It’s not free – because you still need to pay for the Internet and the technology to use it, and it may be low cost but you get what you pay for in terms of quality of service and experience. Anyway, that’s another arguement…..

What’s most interesting for me is the reported attitude of the so-called Millennials and the additional risks that they bring into the workplace because of it. This article here brings the point home when it states that

Millennials are the most connected generation in history and will network right out of their current workplace if these needs are not met. Computer experts, millennials are connected all over the world by email, instant messages, text messages, and the Internet

In the office this means that they crave the latest technology and we end up with an environment stuffed full of the latest gadgets not knowing which one will be the vector for the next private data compromise.

My view is firstly to stop this daft labelling of individuals as Generation Y or Millennials or any other term. There appears to be a fine line between providing a decent work environment and making life good for employees on the one hand or, on the other, curtailing to the wants and requests of a spoilt social group who seem to think that they are employed because the employer owes them a favour. From the business perspective, nothing new should be introduced into the environment until somebody knows how to support it and has knowledge about any associated risks. Lastly, before we make any more rash statements about web 2.0 increasing productivity and saving money, somebody please show us the data that supports this?