Millennials struggle to solve IT problems at work

7 June 2017

Millennials struggle to solve IT problems at workNew research contradicts the accepted wisdom that young people have more advanced digital skills than their older colleagues.

A survey of 1,250 IT decision-makers from the United States, the UK, France and Germany conducted by Vanson Bourne for Barco ClickShare has found that 58% of IT experts say young employees ask for assistance because they are not digitally savvy enough to resolve IT problems themselves. The biggest challenges facing employees are:

  • presentation technology problems (67%);
  • internet connection issues (59%);
  • printer issues (55%);
  • mobile device problems (47%);
  • and software bugs/problems (41%).

Inma Martinez, technology pioneer and data scientist, said: "Millennials, Centennials and some Generation X employees excel at being digitally social, yet they are 100% mobile driven, lacking the necessary skills for interoperability, that is, to understand how desktop computers connect to other devices or, furthermore, how network infrastructure really works."

Millennials, she said, tend to be "short-term oriented, spoiled by the instant gratification of ecommerce, the widespread availability of wifi and the seamless user experience that mobile apps present today."

The majority (91%) of IT decision-makers polled reported that presentation technology problems are a key issue, including 46% pointing to external business hardware such as laptops, tablets, and mobile phones being brought into meeting rooms and 40% saying issues arise because of business hardware problems, including screens and computers.

Six in ten IT experts said businesses need to ensure their technology is easy to set up to make it easier for younger employees to use. Just over half of IT professionals suggested that devices should ideally be wireless and compatible with any device to minimise problems.

A lack of digital skills impacts on business results, the report concludes. IT problems are associated with disputes between colleagues, damage to business reputation and even loss of business.