Digital Natives in the Contemporary Workplace

Allow me to introduce you to the Digital Native. This type of user is the latest disruptor to business and IT, but also the source of much future opportunity.  We are in the midst of a “quad generation” working population for the first time in history, and many perceive the “Digital Native” to be the most recent generation, defined specifically by age range.

At Computacenter, we take a slightly different view. Digital Natives are not necessarily defined by age. It’s hard to argue that younger generations have an advantage in terms of both aptitude and attitude towards technology, almost all of us are moving along the spectrum that spans from Digital Novice to Digital Native.

As we consider how we service both the Digital Novice, the Digital Native and all of us in-between. Three things are increasingly important and shape how we evolve the Contemporary Workplace. Experience, Behaviour and Context.

  • Experience – relates to the outcomes that we’re delivering to our users and customers. It increasingly needs to deliver “any-ness” – allowing people and business to engage on any device, in any location and at any time. It also needs to be collaborative, personal to the user, and intuitive. Users no longer expect to be given the same black box as the person sat next to them; that might not fit their needs, and furthermore what they are given should just work with minimal instruction and training
  • Behaviour – relates to why people behave and interact with technology, and people in various ways. The Digital Native will increasingly leverage technology as the basis for their interactions – preferring web-chat to telephone, preferring video conference to face to face meetings. As we move more towards being digitally native we lose the shackles of our previous understanding of technology (Phones that used to have wires, expensive dial-up internet) and are liberated to look at how technology can best support and enable us
  • Context – Finally, this reflects the physicality of our work. From the redesign of our workspaces to be more optimised for our needs, we cater better for the mobile as well as the fixed worker and provide all the capabilities – from physical locations and capabilities through to the software-defined technologies that allow us to work, however, wherever, whenever suits us best

We have seen ourselves how enhancing our Contemporary Workplace can better support our increasingly Digital Native workforce. With our Next Generation Service Desk we have provided an intuitive, online service for our users to interact with for IT incidents and requests – exploiting web-chat, self-service and automation. Our Enterprise Mobility solution has equipped our roaming users with modern mobile technology that provides secure and reliable access to our corporate systems and data wherever they are. And this allows us to continually review and enhance our workspaces and habitats to best suit the needs of our users

It doesn’t stop there, the “SMAC stack” and Digital are only just starting to open the opportunities for us to develop and enhance the services and experience we can provide to our users and customers.

Until next time

Paul

About Paul Bray

Paul is Computacenter’s Chief Technologist for Workplace and User Productivity

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