The Influence of Digital Natives on Your Business IT Strategy

There’s a lot of hyperbole about the ‘ever-changing enterprise’ and how it should shape your business IT strategy. But there’s also truth to be found in such statements.

Take the people who populate the enterprise: millennials became the largest generation in the American workforce back in 2015, and it’s expected that they will account for 75% of the workforce by 2025. Your business IT strategy, therefore, needs to accommodate the working habits and expectations of millennials.

Of course, the dates that classify the millennial demographic vary depending on where you look, from any time between the early 1980s to the late 2000s. Rather than by date of birth, it may be better to define millennials by what unifies them: their association with, and knowledge of, digital technology. They are ‘digital natives’—people born or brought up during the age of digital technology, familiar with computers and the internet from an early age.

With digital natives representing a larger proportion of the workforce than ever, it’s no doubt the enterprise is evolving. Some organizations must adapt, but others have the benefit of being ‘millennial’ companies themselves. ‘Digitally Native Vertical Brands’ (DNVB) are already sweeping across the online retail sector. Just as millennials have grown-up online, digitally native companies have spent all their existence in the cloud.

Think of giants like Facebook, Netflix, Google and Amazon—these companies are outperforming traditional brands (a 2016 Accenture study found that 80% of the most-loved brands were DNVBs), the biggest of which are not just meeting but shaping the experience and expectations of digital natives.

So, what can companies that don’t have the luxury of being digitally native do to keep up with the ever-changing enterprise? In this post, we’re going to explore how you can adapt your business IT strategy to match, and hopefully exceed, the expectations of digital natives.

Match the Expectations of Digital Natives

The following are some of the main expectations of digital natives:

  • Digital instantaneity 

Technologies like email, the internet and social media—along with mobile functionality—have meant digital natives expect to be able to connect with anyone in the world near-instantly. The same can be said for accessing information and completing business processes—there’s not a lot of patience for poor loading times on websites or apps that don’t work immediately.

  • Software and systems integration

Some SaaS companies grew up in a culture where they encouraged their customers to use their software for everything. Even working within comprehensive cloud platforms like Office 365, digital natives have come to expect integration between their most favored software applications. From leveraging document storage in Dropbox to approval with DocuSign, users will leverage a variety of services to complete tasks.

  • An affinity for self-service

A 2016 study found consumers make 51% of their purchases online. With online retailers like Amazon offering same-day delivery, self-service plays a big part in the lives of digital natives. And this is beginning to translate to the workplace with ‘self-service’ technology like citizen development software becoming more prevalent.

Digitizing Your Business IT Strategy

So, how are digitally native businesses able to meet these expectations of millennials? While there are several factors specific to each business, we believe it comes down to two main elements:

  • Cloud-based environment

Alongside the more obvious cost-savings of replacing data centers, the cloud gives companies a chance to deploy and iterate quickly, making them more able to respond to customer and employee needs. Platform updates are also far more frequent than on-premises, helping businesses keep their finger on the pulse of the enterprise.

  • Digital technology

Almost all companies now rely on digital technology to stay competitive, but digitally native organizations are extending digital capabilities company-wide. One example is citizen development software: low-code solutions that make technical, code-driven processes—like automation or application development—accessible to the everyday user.

The ability to match the digitally-driven expectations of millennials has been a key ingredient to the success of digitally native companies. But your company doesn’t have to be born in the cloud to witness success. How can companies start to adjust their business IT strategy towards the cloud and citizen development software to find the same benefits?

Digitally Native Automation

Nintex Workflows use an intuitive and user-friendly drag-and-drop interface for workflow creation; a low-code approach that makes it easy for any member of the business to connect people, content, data or systems together.

The Nintex Workflow Cloud platform is updated every three months, meaning you avoid investing in software that will become outdated over time. A consistent design experience across multiple web browsers will help digital natives feel more at home using cloud-based automated workflows, making them more likely to use them to their full capability. A range of digital workflow connectors offer seamless integration to the cloud services, business applications and storage repositories you’re currently working with.

 

For more information on implementing automated workflows into your business IT strategy, get in touch with Nintex today.

Patrick Nguyen

Pat Nguyen has been with Nintex as a Business Analyst for almost two years. In his role he uses Nintex Forms and Nintex Workflow to build custom workflow solutions to solve business challenges. In his spare time Pat enjoys exploring Seattle on his longboard. He’s a University of Notre Dame alum and a Fighting Irish fan.