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ON DIGITAL-First Fridays: The New Barbarians

Digital is second nature to Millennials and plays a significant part in their lives. They believe new technology makes life easier and brings people closer together. Millennials are mobile. They are hyper-connected and always on.

Based on their love of all things Digital, Millennials are introducing a whole new value system to the workplace. They eschew traditional hierarchical structures, prefer working in ways that are open, flexible and social, and are introducing new digital technologies into the enterprise (even if it means circumventing IT policy). They are multicultural, global, and believe in a work-life balance.

This demographic will soon make up 50% of the global workforce. To accommodate their needs, corporate cultures will have to create an environment that caters to them (flex hours, remote access, BYOD). And if their demands are not met, this band of talented nomads will simply move on.

Their influence extends beyond the enterprise. Millennials are making demands in the marketplace too. Being hyper-connected has created an “anytime, anywhere” expectation. As consumers, convenience and instant gratification are key—otherwise they’ll find another brand that can satisfy their expectations.

Millennials are informed. They are communicators. And they value authenticity.

All of these factors are driving brands to support digital, omni-channel shopping experiences, forums for open dialogue, and co-creation—where the consumer is empowered to interact with and influence a brand.

Armed with new technology, influential opinions, and wallet power, Millennials have the means to supplant incumbents. If you fall short of meeting expectations—if you fail to deliver relevant and authentic digital experiences, provide flexible work environments, and adopt open communications—you will not survive the invasion.

In my next post in this series, I’ll explore how engaging digital experiences are no longer optional, and what Digital Leaders are doing to fulfill this new business requirement.

For more thoughts ON DIGITAL, download the book.

Mark Barrenechea

Mark J. Barrenechea is OpenText's Vice Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Technology Officer. A prominent thought leader, he has extensive experience in information technology and his vision is to enable the digital world to help transform organizations.

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