The Cloud Today: The Technology Gap Between Generations

By: Alyssa Lamberti

The Technology Gap Between Generations: How Different Generations Use Technology

In the second episode of GURUS Solutions’ podcast, The Cloud Today, podcast host, CEO and author, Martin McNicoll, sits down with his co-host, John Serino, GURUS Solutions Marketing Director, as well as two featured guests, Alyssa Lamberti, GURUS Marketing Content Specialist, and Michael Turcotte, Certified NetSuite Cloud Developer, to discuss the technology gap between generations and how different generations use technology.

In this episode, four speakers, from different generations, age groups, and career experiences, share their perspectives about how they use technology and how their use of technology differs from that of generations before and after them.

The technological generational gap touches on topics like:

  • The convenience of technology
  • How to keep up with technological trends
  • The experience of those born into the digital age versus those adapting to it

You can listen to the full podcast using one of the links below:

 

The Convenience of Technology

GURUS CEO and founder, Martin McNicoll reflects on how technology helps him accomplish certain things in his position and life, and how his use of technology is not the same as those around him.

As a result, the first question of the episode focuses on how different technologies impact different age groups and how different generations define their relationships with technology. When it comes to the millennial generation, they are essentially the generation that grew up in the age of technology. When many millennials, who are now in their twenties and thirties, were growing up, the rise of the computer and the internet grew with them, making it a constant in their lives. Because of that, many millennials expected technology to grow with them as they grew, because that's what has always happened.

From dial-up internet to AI, technology is almost a millennial itself.

Let’s face it, by 2025, it’s expected that millennials will account for 75% of the global workforce. So the “millennial” mentality, will become the norm.

As consumers of the technology around us, we tend not to realize just how quickly technology has evolved in the last few years. Even someone in their twenties has had the opportunity to experience the evolution of the internet from its early dial-up stage, to what it is now.

As something that younger generations use every day, millennials tend to expect their technology to be proactive and grow as their needs grow. In fact, according to a study by Coptia.org, 71% of millennials say that the degree to which an organization embraces technology/innovation is a factor influencing where they work. Which goes to show how important technological growth and innovation are to a newer generation.

Even in the age of dial-up internet, many people were excited at the prospect of being able to download music online and no longer being forced to go to a music store to buy physical records. While we didn't realize it at the time, it was really the very first point in history where digital technology was starting to give people conveniences that they used to get from brick and mortar stores.

In fact, much of the younger generations think of technology as a convenience. When thinking about technological convenience, Netflix is the biggest example of that. We watch Netflix because it’s convenient - we have it on our computers, we can watch any time of the day and we can watch for as long as we want. In fact, Gen Z and Millennials favor streaming and online services, with 46% of teens saying they use Netflix compared to 31% of those aged over 16.

When people order Ubers, they can order, track, and pay their Ubers from their phones, without ever having to reach for their wallet or dial a phone number.

If you look at the stats, Pew Research finds that, 92% of Millennials own smartphones, compared with 85% of Gen Xers and 67% of Baby Boomers. While many people may boil that down to Millennials’ obsession with technology, much of that “obsession” is due to the convenience of it.

Cloud Technology As A Trend 

Cloud technology was in itself once a novelty. There used to be few users and early adopters of the Cloud, and it was really difficult for companies to make that investment at the beginning because they didn’t know what the long-term results were for such a new innovation.  
 
Now, Cloud technology is way passed the trend phase. It has evolved to a point where it’s no longer a novelty and is now a necessity. Should you be moving your business to the cloud? The answer is simple. Nowadays, if you're not running your business in the Cloud, you're not running a business.

Everything has got to be born in the Cloud for many companies to want to use certain technologies. No one wants to be fussing around with an on-premise system. It comes down to the convenience of being able to access pretty much all of your files wherever you need, whether at home, on the bus, or at the office. With the Cloud, you know the availability of all your files and whatever you need to access are going to be at your disposal immediately.

Technological Generational Gaps Within Companies 

Baby Boomers who are using technology, and who are adapting are kind of like those companies who are getting out of their legacy systems and moving into Cloud ERP or moving into NetSuite. There is undoubtedly a parallel between the generational gap of individuals but also the generational gap between companies. 
 
There are companies that were born in the 20th century, versus a new generation of companies, like GURUS, who were born in the 21st century. The technology gap between companies of different generations shows in how an organization itself can adapt and use new technology. 
 
When older companies are proposed a Cloud solution like NetSuite, many can display a sharp resistance to change, one that we don’t necessarily see in younger organizations. Those younger companies turn to solutions, like NetSuite, because they need to get things done and they don't want to invest in on-premise technology anymore.
 
With older companies, there is the idea that they have to adapt to new technologies, whereas with newer companies, they're just born into it, as Millenials have been. 
 
GURUS Solutions sees many clients that are still using spreadsheets and they're comfortable in that process even if it's not working for them. There is this inherent fear within them that they may switch to a new technology that they may not understand how to use. 
 
 
There is a level of comfort that is not necessarily optimal. It’s based on the fear of sticking to what they already know because learning the technology seems intimidating. When many companies come to GURUS,  they get to the point where they have no choice but to upgrade because their business is failing, their processes are a mess and they are forced to adapt to the rise of new technologies in order to solve the generational gap. 
 
 

About Our Sponsor:

GURUS Solutions (Oracle NetSuite ERP Implementations & Integrations Pros) boasts 15+ years of experience, over 2500 successful projects completed and an 8-year long-standing status as a 5-Star NetSuite partner. To learn more about GURUS Solutions and their portfolio of products and solutions, click here.
 
Get a copy of Martin McNicoll’s book, Scale Up Your Business with Cloud Technology: A Practical Guide to Building a Future-Proof Enterprise, with a Foreword by Verne Harnish. www.martinmcnicoll.guru
 
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About Alyssa Lamberti

Alyssa Lamberti is a resident Blogger, Writer, and Marketing Content Specialist for GURUS Solutions. She comes from a background in English Literature, having graduated with a degree in English Literature from Concordia University, and has worked in Marketing and copywriting for companies in the tech and media industry.

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