Green IT and Business Savvy

By Elizabeth Millard Print this article Print

They've been called everything from narcissists to "Generation Me," but those wily post-Gen X employees might just show their elders how to revamp an enterprise.

3. Greening Up the Data Center
The move toward environmentally-friendly products has affected nearly every strata of society at this point, with moves toward banning plastic bags in grocery stores, and boosting energy efficiency.

Although those in IT have been examining the issue, and seeking ways to love the earth while positively impacting the data center, Gen Y's commitment to the environment could cause a huge push for green efforts.

"You're going to see people getting very serious about green initiatives like power savings and server compaction through virtualization," says John Baschab, author of "The Executive's Guide to Information Technology." "This is a trend that's just going to increase in momentum."

4. Ending Consumer vs. Enterprise
IT departments have been adjusting to the wave of consumer technology coming into the enterprise, and with Gen Y, those distinctions may be erased.

Much was made of the "enterprise ready" capabilities planned for the consumer favorite iPhone, but there could come a time in the not-too-distant future, when everything is enterprise ready.

Leadership consultant Deborah Gilburg recently noted that companies will need to work out how to accommodate new technologies as Millennials enter organizations, since they'll gravitate toward organizations that give them access to hardware and software that they can use in both their personal and professional lives.

When a workforce is completely mobile, after all, what's the distinction between work and home? Certainly, it's not an office setting, and Gen Y sees no problem with using the same device to create a PowerPoint presentation and to whip up a video blog about a recent vacation.

5. Bridging the Gap Between Business and IT
The much-discussed chasm that lies between enterprise goals and IT has been a source of increasing tension in many companies. The executives in other departments don't understand why so many technology shifts are necessary, or how IT objectives tie into larger business goals. Experts, meanwhile, have noted that IT types haven't exactly been stellar at articulating that information.

That sandlot fight could soon end, though, once more Gen Y types are in desks instead of college classrooms.

"All the technology-driven people I encounter are really interested in the business side of an enterprise," says Healy. "They actually go into IT because they want to be entrepreneurial, not because they they're especially technical."

Also, forget the type of silos that are created within an organization, where sales and IT only encounter each other during upgrade cycles or in the lunchroom. Gen Y wants to know everything about a company, Healy says.

"They like to know what's going on, all the details, they want to know what makes a company operate," Healy notes.


This article was originally published on 2008-03-18
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