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IT Support: Bridging The Generation Gap

Millennials will place new demands on IT support teams, according to a study by CompTIA.
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There's been a lot of talk about how Millennials and will transform the workplace. The assumption is that these digital natives who grew up with computers and the Internet will have much different needs and expectations than aging Baby Boomers when it comes to the technology they use.

Often stereotyped as entitled types who aren't exactly the most professional workers, Millennials (generally defined as people born after 1980) are expected to want to work as they live, demanding speedy access to corporate resources at all times via a computing device of their choice. Oft-cited statistics peg Millennials as surpassing Gen Xers this year as the largest share of the workforce.

A recent study by CompTIA looked at the technology habits of this new generation of workers and their IT support expectations. Compared to older workers, these tech-savvy workers will want more IT support even though they're bit more apt than previous generations to take a DIY approach to tech fixes. They'll also look for IT support via video chat, instant messaging, and social media.

Interestingly, even though employees are using a greater variety of devices, the venerable PC remains at the top of workers' list for IT support, according to CompTIA.

CompTIA's study on IT support needs was based on an online survey conducted in September of 700 business professionals in different age groups across a variety of industry sectors.

Let's take a closer look at CompTIA's findings to get an idea of what IT support teams will need to do to support this new generation of workers.

(Image: mediaphotos/iStockphoto)

 

Marcia Savage is the managing editor for Network Computing, and has been covering technology for 15 years. She has written and edited for CRN and spent several years covering information security for SC Magazine and TechTarget. Marcia began her journalism career in daily ... View Full Bio

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NiroshanDickwella
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NiroshanDickwella,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/2/2016 | 7:17:40 AM
Re: Well Said
good point
aditshar1
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aditshar1,
User Rank: Ninja
12/31/2015 | 1:07:43 AM
Re: Well Said
Class C, I am little skeptical about your comment. I guess this is not about Tech Savvy, but more about work fashion change. Millennials are little more open to discussions, management and their work fashion. I find them more interested to get the job/ project done. We worked to find Work Life balanced but they are rather working to work life blend, accessing personal work during official hours and vice versa.
MarciaNWC
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MarciaNWC,
User Rank: Strategist
12/30/2015 | 1:45:45 PM
Re: Well Said
Good point @aditshar, the remote worker can create complex issues for IT. 
MarciaNWC
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MarciaNWC,
User Rank: Strategist
12/30/2015 | 1:41:46 PM
Re: Different experience
Thanks for providing another view @synicalx! Interesting stats, especially the teaching part.
synicalx
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synicalx,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/29/2015 | 10:03:40 PM
Different experience
Pulling some stats out of our helpdesk system I've found the complete opposite - Millennials rarely ever call us even though they make up the majority of our staff, whereas older generations call us almost daily despite making up only about 20% of our workforce.

 

Interestingly from what I've heard from support staff, on the rare occasion when they do speak to a Millennial they're often able to teach them a solution rather than just fixing something which invariably leads to less repeat calls. The whole "teach a man to fish" scenario I guess. 
ClassC
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ClassC,
User Rank: Ninja
12/29/2015 | 1:58:10 PM
Milennials: Need Help or DIY ?

I don't understand that Milennials seem to want to DIY yet will want help when they can't figure it out.   Sounds like most any other generation to me.

ClassC
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ClassC,
User Rank: Ninja
12/29/2015 | 1:52:32 PM
Re: Well Said

I find it surprising that Millennials expect to need more IT support.   Isn't this the generation that is supposed to be tech savvy ?

 

I guess that is limited to phones and social media.

aditshar1
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aditshar1,
User Rank: Ninja
12/24/2015 | 2:00:57 AM
Well Said
Millennials will place new demands on IT support teams, I agree to this statement completely. Most of the Millennials advocate the policy of Work from Home which itself is task for IT team to give them smooth and secure channel to work. It's less about what company they work for and more about who they are working with and the types of projects they work on.
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