GenX or Millennials: Which Generation Truly Leads the Digital Transformation?

Even though we know millennials are connected non-stop to their smartphones, laptops, and social media accounts, it’s Generation X that makes up the main influencers, architects, and drivers of digital transformation in the enterprise. With all the focus on Millennials, it’s actually Generation X—those born between the ‘60s and early ‘80s—that paved the way for their younger colleagues to reap the longer-term rewards of digital business. Here’s how we know.

OpenText recently commissioned a study by Forrester Consulting that reveals how businesses can make the most of their digital transformation efforts by tapping certain generational groups for leadership positions. Creating a one-size-fits-all management culture no longer suits today’s workforce, given its diversity.

Gen-X Has Greater Clarity on What Drives Transformation

To learn how different generations affect digital transformation, Forrester surveyed 240 Baby Boomers, Gen-Xers, and Millennials. Here are some of those findings:

  • When asked about key drivers behind digital transformation, Baby Boomers were most likely to name growing revenue as a motivator, while Gen-Xers put greater emphasis on how digital change can improve the way business itself works.
  • Regarding what drives change, 51% of Gen-Xers said improving time to market is a change driver, compared to 42% of Baby Boomers and just 30% of Millennials.
  • Gen-Xers were also far more likely to believe transformation is driven by a desire to improve innovation and bring new offerings to market at 47%, compared to 32% for Baby Boomers and 37% for Millennials.
  • Regarding the belief that transformation is driven by the need to create a seamless, harmonized customer experience across channels, 49% of Gen-Xers felt this is true, compared to 32% for Baby Boomers and 34% for Millennials.

The Takeaway

Understanding the workforce can help drive your company’s vision. By moving Gen-Xers with “digital savvy” into more senior leadership positions, while making sure Millennials are involved in decisions affecting the future, enterprises can foster transformational success.

But, overall, having a better understanding of different groups’ unique strengths is the first step. It can help boost the chances of a smooth digital transformation to compete today and in the future. And while every part of an organization needs to take part for a digital transformation program to succeed, armed with this research, you can leverage your resources for the biggest impact and position your own business for success.

To explore how to move forward with your digital transformation, take a look at how OpenText Release 16 enables companies to manage the flow of information in the digital enterprise, from engagement to insight.

Adam Howatson

Adam is OpenText's CMO and in the last 14 years has served in Product Management, Marketing, Engineering, Information Technology, Office of The President/PMO, Partner Development, and Mergers & Acquisitions. He has developed an extensive awareness of OpenText and its customers, people, culture, products, and markets.

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1 thought on “GenX or Millennials: Which Generation Truly Leads the Digital Transformation?”

  1. I agree … It’s Generation X that makes up the main influencers, architects, and drivers of digital transformation in the enterprise. The reason are buried in the environment that this generation has been brought up, just to name a few:

    * Gen X did not have access to TV and electronic media, which they can be glued to now. Their learnings were from practical experiences and that impact on their social life.
    * They are more inclined to outdoor activities, as their social activities included games and sports. Even if they did not had equipments they created them or a new sport.
    * Gen X learning to cycle was without support, someone running alongside it.
    * They would play in the park and drink water from the garden hose … never fell ill because of that. (Today’s millennials play in the parking lot and not the parks).

    Many more similar examples are there … which makes GenX more practical in nature.

    Your thoughts …

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