Sourcing strategies must change to reflect Generation Y

Sourcing departments in businesses must take into account Generation Y to ensure that outsourcing continues to deliver value, says Gartner

Sourcing departments in businesses must take into account Generation Y to ensure outsourcing continues to deliver value, according to research from Gartner.

Changes in IT user trends in business, driven by employees born in the 1980s, will transform businesses because, by 2025, 75% of the average businesses workforce will be made up of this group of people.

“It is important CIOs and sourcing managers understand the requirements of Generation Y users when it comes to technology and services as well as their way of working,” said Gartner analyst Frank Ridder.

"CIOs are responsible for including new technology and delivery models in their sourcing strategies to optimise service delivery are in a central position to make the changes that best enable Generation Y employees."

Gartner’s Generation Y Will Reinvent Outsourcing paper outlines how the user experience is increasingly important for sourcing executives, to ensure they prove their worth.

In preparation for the trend, Gartner said sourcing executives should: 

  • Engage Generation Y workers when crafting their IT services and sourcing strategies to ensure their decisions align with Generation Y's expectations, behaviours and demands;
  • Incorporate solutions that users prefer in their private lives, early in the sourcing cycle;
  • Define user experience as a key element to customer satisfaction and implement new measures and metrics for it;
  • Plan for a higher degree of provider/organisation collaboration through social networks, in a secure and reliable manner.

Gartner said that Generation Y users prefer to buy IT than make it themselves, which is a reversal of the current trend where sourcing executives would make rather than buy. 

“Generation Y workers do not have the 'not invented here' syndrome. Speed and standard solutions usually beat hassle and customisation,” said the analyst company.

“For many years, organisations have looked into what IT services they must build to meet the requirements of their businesses. Next, and for various reasons such as cost, skill shortage or flexibility, they looked into purchasing them from the market. 

"Generation Y looks first into what is available on the market before deciding to build anything, especially with highly commoditised services.”

Gartner's nine things about Generation Y

Nine different habits, styles and values that CIOs and sourcing managers need to understand to develop and source IT solutions and services that enable a Generation Y workforce to be efficient.

  1. Fast-changing pace: Generation Y grew up when the digital age brought many changes to people, for example, the music industry became digital and completely changed the way music delivery worked.
  2. Leverage: Generation Y workers do not have the "not invented here" syndrome. Speed and standard solutions usually beat hassle and customisation.
  3. Impatience: Generation Y usually finds applications, information and entertainment available and downloadable when it needs them. It does not need to wait. That makes it hard for those from Generation Y to accept things that take time.
  4. Education: On average, a Generation Y employee has four years of higher education and they are more often tech-savvy. Everyone now uses computers and the internet in their private as well as in their business life and they do not require much training when entering a new job.
  5. Seeking challenges: Generation Y workers have high expectations of their employer. They seek constant challenge and appreciate the ability to leverage existing experience.
  6. Work-life balance: Generation Y workers appreciate a good work-life balance. They like technology that seamlessly connects their private and business activities and that allows them the freedom to mix both as it fits into their business work day and beyond.
  7. Virtual teamwork: Especially in universities, working in teams is normal and is done either physically or virtually. Generation Y workers are well-prepared to work in global and virtual organisations.
  8. Multitasking: Doing many things at the same time (email, instant messaging and phone calls while doing creative work, for example) is common and accepted as a way of life. Psychology studies confirm that multitasking is a very normal way of performing for Generation Y.
  9. Social networking: Generation Y workers have a "no-one left behind" mentality and culture. They are open to including people – and often do – from different cultures and countries in their virtual environment. Leveraging the social network is therefore a common habit and its power is understood.

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