1 February 2017
4 min read
By 2020, according to Gartner, millennials will form 50% of the global workforce, with ‘post millennials’ (also known as Generation Z) hot on their heels. By 2025 that will rise to 75%. So, what’s the big deal? It’s just another generation, isn’t it?
No, it’s not. The defining characteristics of both generations is their affinity with the digital world. Never before has a group of people entered the workplace with a better grasp of a key business tool than their senior colleagues. They will shape the world of work for years to come, laying the foundations of working practice and culture for the century. That’s the big deal.
This burgeoning demographic will form the majority of your internal customers. What they think of and do with the technology you give them really matters to the success of your organisation. Especially so when considering the needs of top digital talent: the ‘power user’.
Setting higher standards
Standard issue PCs simply won’t do for many users. Just look at the financial sector, with stock market dealers running six screens or more off a single device and analysts keen to crunch numbers faster than the competition using large data sheets and strict workflows. A millisecond can mean the difference between a successful or failed deal. For them only a professional workstation will suffice.
Interestingly, the oil and gas industry has seen the highest demand for workstations for drilling control and visualisation, using software such as AudoCad. And with CAD models getting more detailed and software more sophisticated, design professionals also require these reliable high performance devices.
‘Never before has a group of people entered the workplace with a better grasp of a key business tool than their senior colleagues.’
For visual effects (VFX) in film and animation, the computer graphics (CG) apps require some serious specifications. Higher-resolution images, higher frame rates and the latest technology such as stereoscopic 3D and 4K, drives demand for faster and faster workstations. And because it’s now possible to render with a graphics card rather than with the CPU, these devices need to be able to take the latest NVIDIA technology.
What’s more, the majority of these professionals are not desk-bound. So all those specifications must feature in one portable device. Z Workstations come with Remote Graphics Software (RGS), so any changes made remotely are immediately reflected back in the office. Better yet, it’s enabled for Mac too, allowing you to work seamlessly between HP Workstations running Windows and a studio of Macs. For many, design is as important as function. They won’t be happy with a workstation that doesn’t look as good as it performs.
Changing attitudes we can’t afford to ignore
Research by PwC in the report ‘Millennials at work – reshaping the workplace’ sheds further light on the attitudes of this powerful demographic.
These people have a very strong sense of their own individuality. Personal development and work-life blend are more important than money. For business, the latter desire translates into mobility and trust. So it’s essential that they’re given the tools to work where and when they want, while being trusted by their employer to do the job on their own terms. Which is why they want flexible working hours. Unfortunately, 28% of them say that the work-life blend promised in their job interviews is not being kept.
‘It’s essential that they’re given the technology to work where and when they want.’
Clearly the shift in the demographic is already changing workplace culture – albeit not fast enough for these demanding individuals. They feel held back by rigid or outdated working styles and put much more emphasis on mobility and flexible working. They don’t just expect a higher standard of technology but technology designed to meet their work anywhere, anytime ethos. Think of it as ‘power mobility’.
Any organisation that ignores them will be ignoring its own future. Recent tough economic times have forced 72% of these people to compromise on their job expectations. Which means that, when the good times roll, your organisation will find it harder to keep hold of them – unless you’ve done something to live up to those initial expectations, and delivered the power mobility they crave. And be warned: according to PwC, 38% are actively looking for a new job right now. Which means if your business wants to retain the top talent, you now have an excellent reason to ask the FD to boost the IT budget. They know it costs much more to attract talent than keep it.
Only IT has the key
Therein lies the vital role of IT as the enabler of change. IT has the key to unlocking the talent and the productivity of the workplace’s latest generation. Put simply, the future of business in your hands. That really is a big deal.
A small but powerful package
HP offers a range of workstations, with 30 years of HP Z DNA technology and research shaping each of them. The current focus is on delivering innovative space-saving style, mobility and performance. For example, the new HP Z2 Mini Workstation stands just over two inches high – slightly shorter than an average cup of espresso. And yet it delivers more than 3x the power of a business-class mini PC. It can also be mounted out of sight on the underside of a desk or on the rear of an HP Z display, leaving more desktop space available for multiple monitors and other hardware. Reliability is paramount for power users, which is why every device undergoes hours of military testing.