The mass retirement of Australia’s baby boomers and the proliferation of digital natives in the workforce will increase employee expectations of technology in the workplace, according to new research from integrated observability firm Riverbed.
The impact on employers will increase pressure on IT teams to deliver digital employee experiences to stay competitive and retain top talent.
According to Riverbed’s 2023 Global Digital Employee Experience Study, 90% of IT and business leaders in Australia believe rising expectations for digital experiences among younger generations will put increased pressure on IT resources. 64% expect junior employees to consider leaving if their digital experience needs are not met.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, four million baby boomers will be eligible for retirement within five years, and experts predict most will retire in just over 10 years. As a result, Millennials and Gen Z will account for more than 75% of the market’s total employment over the next decade.
“The growing influence of digital natives, changes in how and where people work, and the complexity of IT are putting tremendous pressure on IT and business leaders to deliver great digital experiences,” says Riverbed. Chief Executive Officer Dave Donatelli said.
“Two-thirds of leaders believe younger employees will consider leaving a company that doesn’t meet their digital needs, and CIOs are effectively becoming chief people officers as well,” he says.
“Compounding this challenge, our research shows that delivering better digital experiences is becoming increasingly difficult. Reassuringly, most business and IT leaders We understand the challenges at hand and have aggressively invested in technologies like AI and unified observability to improve the digital workforce experience.”
When asked which generation is most excited about technology in the workplace today, 37% of IT professionals and business leaders said Millennials and 28% said Gen Z. These demographics are considered the most attention-seeking today, with Millennials at 32% and Gen Z at 26%.
As demand increases, there are potential consequences for businesses that fail to adapt. More than four in ten (41%) of IT and business leaders predict disruption will occur if the expectations of younger generations are not met, and a further 26% will see consequences that damage their reputation. predicting the possibility of occurrence.
Experts and leaders suggest that personal technology experiences shape workplace expectations, with the user experience of personal devices such as smartphones and apps setting the bar high for professional technology expectations. 89% agree (38% strongly agree).
Issues to be addressed
While expectations are rising, companies are also grappling with skills challenges. Around 42% of Australian businesses report that they currently have a talent shortage in their IT department, and 39% believe they have enough staff but lack the required skill sets. Almost in ten of those who said their team didn’t have the right skills, nine in ten (89%) expect to train their employees within the next 18 months. Global IT leaders overwhelmingly (86%) believe that integrated observability technologies with enhanced automation will also help close the skills gap.
Additionally, nine in 10 (91%) Australian leaders believe that the lack of a comprehensive view of digital employee experience (DEX) poses a significant risk to talent retention.
Most leaders plan to invest in DEXs, given the near-unanimous recognition of the risks of companies failing to meet employees’ digital expectations. The survey found that 89% of the world’s IT and business leaders plan to accelerate the adoption and implementation of digital experiences.
Organizations also believe that technologies such as AI and integrated observability will play a key role in delivering better digital experiences. 94% of leaders agree that unified observability is important to remain competitive and deliver their DEX (52% critical), and 91% invest in unified observability solutions states that there is a need to increase
The relevance of IT in today’s volatile economy is also more evident than ever, with 77% saying IT’s importance within the C-suite has increased.
“Australia is undergoing a significant generational shift in its workforce, and businesses need to align their technology with evolving employee expectations,” says Donatelli.
“Those who can anticipate, adapt, and grow will be best positioned for future success.”
Other findings in the report include:
- For 96% of IT and business leaders, providing a seamless digital employee experience (DEX) is important or essential for companies to remain competitive.
- 29.6% is the average increase in IT spending that businesses expect.
- The top three priorities for IT and business leaders over the next two years are increasing efficiency (37%), attracting and retaining IT talent (36%), and ensuring a great digital employee experience (35%).
- For one-third (32%) of IT professionals and leaders, the biggest benefit of having an IT representative at the C-suite is time and cost savings.
- 84% of those surveyed believe that integrated observability technologies with enhanced automation can help close the technical skills gap.
- 94% believe IT has more responsibility for business innovation than it did three years ago.
- Of the leaders surveyed, 47% of their staff are working hybrid, and 85% plan to invest in technology over the next 12 to 18 months to support a hybrid workforce.
- Almost half (48%) say a seamless DEX is most important to employee engagement, ahead of office perks like happy hour (27%) and free coffee and snacks (14%).
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