While each new peer group entering the workplace are an evolution of the one before, the arrival of Generation Z has been awaited with interest. Why? Because Generation Z are the first true digital natives. Even unlike the Millennials, they have never known life before Google, the mobile phone or the internet and their impact on the life of work as we know it, could be explosive.
By Marcus MacNeill, SVP of Product Management, ASG.
However, this poses a challenge to today’s businesses. How do you attract the bright young things that will shape the future for your organisation? Soon those graduating this year will be applying for jobs – and the top talent amongst them will be in high demand.
In order for companies to attract the brightest and best, they must invest in office technologies that deliver an intuitive, easy-to-use, all-in-one experience for these new employees. While of course still allowing the business to retain control over their content and stay compliant.
This generation prefers to experience work in the same way that they experience their social channels: log in once, seamlessly navigate from one platform to the next and close out at the click of a button.
The good news is that rip and replace of legacy systems is not required in order to achieve this. An easy, cost-efficient and effective way that businesses can reach this ideal is by implementing digital workspace technologies which deliver a single-pane-of-glass experience, allowing employees to access all necessary information from any device, at any time.
However, although Generation Z will also be ready for a ‘work/life merge’, thanks to the ongoing acceptance of remote working, as the desire for increased workplace flexibility has grown, so has the number of regulations around data protection.
Even now, employees are using an increasing number of applications on a daily basis – ranging from 10-50 in a day. It’s also not unusual for employees to use at least three devices every day. As the nature of work changes, enterprise technology must also evolve to offer adequate protections.
With work no longer confined to the office building, content and security must travel alongside employees. Between the needs of the remote workforce, to multi-person review cycles that generate numerous versions of the same file, a single document can travel across a variety of locations, devices and business units in a matter of minutes.
This can result in various security issues, including inadequate redaction, which allows unauthorised parties access to sensitive data and even violation of location-based regulations. Employees cannot – and should not – be responsible for ensuring that these protocols are met.
Instead, companies must evaluate technologies that are able to mitigate this risk by enveloping sensitive documents in a policy wrapper that travels with the file, no matter where it goes, ensuring the appropriate permissions and restrictions are in place at all times to help companies remain compliant.
To deliver this flexible, mobile experience, companies are operating on top of complex infrastructures, creating a complicated web of apps, programs, software and servers both on-premises and in the cloud.
IT teams are tasked with keeping track of security and permissions for each employee across these webs, making it easy for pieces to fall through the cracks, especially as numerous devices and working remotely become the norm. By creating a single profile that extends across platforms and servers, processes are streamlined, allowing IT to manage rules from one location.
Generation Z will also expect a workplace where menial tasks – such as determining where a document needs to be stored – will be done automatically. Yet as more and more information is generated from various devices and locations, businesses must not only understand what information they have access to, but also where that information is and will be stored to ensure security.
For this to happen, companies must take a closer look at their current repositories and determine the best mix of software to enable automatic storage without sacrificing flexibility or security.
This next generation is used to switching from laptop to smart phone to tablet without missing a beat. To deliver this flexibility, companies must reevaluate their BYOD and CYOD policies, which have long been tricky to navigate.
Getting employees up and running on corporate devices can require HR and IT departments to perform complex onboarding routines that cost thousands of pounds and countless hours creating permissions, securing devices and ensuring compliance across platforms for each employee.
With a single-pane-of-glass experience, however, the onboarding process is streamlined. HR and IT teams can create a single profile for an employee that can be accessed across devices, cutting down on both the time and cost of hiring a new employee and allowing for more flexible device policies.
Eventually there’s little doubt that these newcomers will shake up the workplace even further in the years to come. However, while older generations are still responsible for corporate governance, they have to find the way to balance the push with the pull; the desire for anywhere, anytime access to information with the ever-growing need for security and data protection.
Thankfully, the latest digital workplace solutions can ensure businesses are ready and prepared for whatever – and whoever – the future may bring.