Microsoft recently gave an interesting warning to enterprises that are persisting with their resistance to the use of instant messaging and Web 2.0 in business: employees of the near future will not want to work for them.
Jeff Johnson, Microsofts Enterprise Strategist, told the Microsoft Indonesia Executive circle conference, held on the Indonesian resort island of Bali, that the younger generation are demanding software, services and data that they can access on any device in enterprises, or they will walk.
In his dynamic presentation to the conference attending by some 50 senior IT executives from across Indonesia Jeff said that young people who, in the next decade, would be employees, would simply not tolerate working for enterprises that did not incorporate IT they used in the consumer space. He said that Young people want more and more services from IT, not less.
As a fellow conference speaker, I was interested in Jeffs thoughts, because they brought to mind just how switched on is todays millennial generation, of which my 16-year-old daughter, Gabriella, is a member.
I told the conference that I recently saw Gabriella sitting in her room with her laptop computer. She was using a web cam to talk to one of her friends, while, at the same time, she was talking to someone else using instant messaging, and checking iTunes for a song.
With this going on, Gabriella was still managing to send an SMS using her mobile phone to someone else on the side.
Talk about unified communication and collaboration. My daughter had a whole team on the line.
And last month I checked her mobile phone bill. She had sent more than 1500 SMS messages thats 50 a day. And she tells me she doesnt even have a boyfriend yet.
Jeff also strongly defended the business benefits of Instant Messenger which so many enterprises have tried to block for their employees. He told the conference I see nothing but business value in instant messenger.
Perhaps it will take a generational shift before major enterprises truly acknowledge the pressure to adapt to the 21st century world of instant communications, collaboration and round the clock networking.
Ross O. Storey, currently the Managing Editor of Fairfax Business Media Asia, is responsible for the editorial content and production of MIS Asia, CIO Asia, Computerworld Singapore and Computerworld Malaysia magazines.
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