Do millennials make up a substantial portion of your IT staff? If not, they will soon. Within a few years, millennials — roughly defined as people born after 1981 — will comprise the biggest demographic in the country, overtaking the baby boomers, who are today's most populous generation. By 2020, one-third of U.S. adults will be millennials, according to researchers at the University of Southern California.
PricewaterhouseCoopers predicts that they will also account for more than 50% of the workforce by that time. Statistics like those matter because today's enterprises are facing unprecedented pressures that will force them to take this age group seriously, adapt to its needs and ultimately re-create the workplace as something today's employees — especially those baby boomers — may find unrecognizable.
The challenge for IT leaders is to manage those changes and balance differing priorities and expectations from the three age groups working in IT — millennials, baby boomers and the Generation X cohort stuck between them. It will require deft management skills, a lot of empathy and the ability to drive needed changes to keep organizations competitive in a fast-moving world.