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CollabNet 2016 Predictions: Millennials and the Enterprise

Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2016.  Read them in this 8th Annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

Contributed by Flint Brenton, CEO of CollabNet

Millennials and the Enterprise

According to a recent report by PwC, millennials will form half of the world's workforce by 2020. With over a quarter of millennials expecting to change employers more than six times in their careers, it's no surprise that CEOs believe attracting and keeping younger workers is one of the biggest talent challenges facing companies today.

One of the biggest differences between millennials and older workers is their relationship to technology. The Information Age brought with it the need for immediate feedback and instant gratification, and millennials expect this same level of information sharing in the workplace. Whereas most of the Baby Boomers are more accustom to highly structured work environments and knowing "enough to get projects done" to complete their jobs, millennials are perceived as more high maintenance, as they value fluidity and expect instant and full access to information, the vast majority of which is unavailable in information silos.

This dynamic is especially true in the IT and software industry. With software crucial to nearly every aspect of business today, software developers have become increasingly vital to - and demanding for - organizations of all types and sizes. Many developers love open source tools, spinning up projects in public and private clouds and buying low-cost project management tools that eschew using corporate mandated management platforms. This more freewheeling approach is often referred to as rouge/shadow IT and cowboy coding.

As we head into 2016, this phenomenon will manifest itself in the way IT departments operate. It means a greater shift toward choice and freedom, spurred by highly iterative and fast-paced Agile development practices designed to meet the growing demand for quality software delivered in short order. As a practice the increased adoption of Agile, and the emergence of DevOps as an added process for speeding software delivery, represents significant cultural shifts that may be more challenging to embrace for Baby Boomers. Moving from a workplace of traditional siloed responsibilities to the workplace of sharing, collaboration and constant feedback will further expose the generational differences that all organizations will continually have to manage. And, there's no looking back either, as the adoption of Agile will only increase as millennials move into more decision-making roles in the coming year.

In the same vein, more project and program management tools will increasingly help developers use any tool or process they want - yet within a community architecture that promotes collaboration - to track and manage projects in the fashion that millennials are expecting to see in the workplace. In 2016, these platforms that embrace heterogeneity will gain traction as a best practice to address the disparities between generations of workers.

Understanding the value of this kind of collaboration and visibility in the software development world will help organizations attract the millennial talent they need to keep their businesses innovating on par with their competition. Moving forward, companies more than ever will need to empower millennials to work with the tools and processes they want to use, but still have that control and visibility into their workspace.

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About the Author

Flint Brenton is the CEO of CollabNet and has extensive experience leading innovative software companies and has an exceptional track record of accelerating growth through product innovation and sales execution. Most recently, he served as president and CEO of AccelOps, a provider of a leading IT operations analytics platform for cloud and virtualized infrastructures. Prior to that, he served as president and CEO of Tidal Software, a leading application automation software solution provider, which later was acquired by Cisco. After the Cisco acquisition, Mr. Brenton served in various follow-on capacities, including Vice President of Advanced Services and as Senior Vice President of Engineering for Cisco's cloud-based Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) software offerings. At both AccelOps and Tidal Software, Mr. Brenton more than tripled sales under his tenure while focusing both companies on disruptive product introductions. During his 25-year career, Mr. Brenton also served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of NetIQ's Security and Administration business unit and has held various leadership positions at NetIQ, Compaq Computer Corporation, BMC Software, and IBM. He received a master's in business and public management from Rice University and a bachelor of science degree from Mount Union College.

 

Published Thursday, January 07, 2016 7:12 AM by David Marshall
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