With the war for eyeballs, attention spans and airtime ongoing, the media has taken to broadly denouncing millennials in clickbait articles; generous with accusations yet economical on facts. Millennials are scathingly labelled as flaky, cellphone-obsessed navel-gazers; unwilling to pay their dues but wanting all of the participation medals.
“This view is myopic and ignores context”, says James O’Connor, managing director at Direct Distribution Services (DDS). “Millennials are digital natives, so it’s natural that tech has shaped many of their personal characteristics; often, very positively.”
“Consider social media: while the negatives are well-documented, it has also facilitated globalisation. We’re connected to people from all around the world, and many who may have felt powerless before now have a voice.”
“This access to a diverse society has made millennials informed, empathetic, and more inclined to carve out their own space in the world.”
What’s equally true is that while the development of the millennial mindset has been facilitated by tech, so the evolving needs of the millennial workforce have inspired the rise of new technologies.
They want mobility
Cloud, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), and web-based services are all millennial-friendly, as they facilitate mobility. “Millennials place greater emphasis on work-life balance than previous generations”, says O’Connor. “They’re willing to put in the work, but understandably less inclined to be chained to a desk.”
According to a survey among IT leaders by the Randstad Technologies and IDG Research Services, almost 80% of respondents have seen an increase in their organisation’s mobile workforce. Therefore, it makes sense that devices which support mobility – such as the iPad and the LaCie Rugged external hard drive – are the tools of choice for millennial professionals.
They are drawn to new roles
Over the past few years we’ve seen a host of new jobs materialise, which did not exist previously: social media manager, influencer, vlogger, UX specialist, sound engineer. “With millennials seeking non-traditional careers, we’re seeing a massive demand for external devices that are portable, but do not compromise on quality”, says O’Connor.
“LaCie’s DJI Copilot, for example, features a hard-wearing exterior, an SD card slot and a USB port to copy photo and video files directly from your device – no laptop needed – making it firm favourite among content creators, drone operators, film producers and photographers.”
They are producing content constantly
Millennials are comfortable with creating and publishing content, switching seamlessly between multiple platforms several of times a day. And as the frequency of production increases, so does the need for adequate storage.
“The early iPhone offered a maximum storage capacity of 16GB. Today’s iPhone offers up to 512GB,” he offers by way of example.
Millennials have two non-negotiables: speed and capacity. It is these criteria that informed the design of LaCie’s big RAID Storage range. Former CNET editor Dong Ngo admitted that LaCie’s 12big was the fastest storage device he’d seen, remarking that one could finish transferring 25GB in less than 20 seconds.
“Growing up with tech means that millennials demand a lot from their devices and software. This makes them a catalyst for change in the workplace, and a driving force behind the creation of new technologies.”