IT professionals too trusting of Generation Y

While most IT managers think employees stick to policy, most 18- to 30-year-olds play by their own rules, using personal devices at work

More employees of the ‘Generation Y’ age group are ducking IT policies to use their personal devices and applications at work than corporations realise.

A study from Cisco, conducted by InsightExpress, showed 53% of IT professionals trusted employees to sticking to the rules set for using tools on the corporate network.

But 77% of the 18- to 30-year-olds surveyed admitted to ignoring IT policies for company-owned devices.

This lack of awareness on the part of IT departments could pose a real risk to corporate networks, especially those without the tools to deal with the increasing number of mobile devices.

“As security stakes rise with new communications options – such as remote working, mobile, cloud, virtual workspaces, application explosion and BYOD – the employee education and enforcement of policies will be important with this next generation of workers,” Ian Foddering, CTO and technical director for Cisco in the UK, told Computer Weekly.

“This shift is causing concern for companies without the IT infrastructure to support personal mobile devices and data, leading to difficulties in attracting top talent when competition with organisations that do have the capability to support the latest and greatest technology for Gen Y employees.”

Foddering said it was down to IT managers to keep up with new employees entering the workforce and find how to balance security with employee expectations and corporate culture.

“The report provides insight into the present-day challenges that companies face as they strive to balance security needs with the habits of the next generation of workers, who are blending work and social life by being constantly connected,” Foddering said.

“Generation Y workers are stretching and blending the boundaries of work, family and social life.”

Other findings from the report – entitled the Cisco Connected World Technology Report – included 66% finding smartphone apps important to their daily lives and 68% using up to 10 applications a day. However, 81% said they wished they didn’t feel so compelled to check their smartphones regularly.

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