Passing the torch to the millennial generation
Millennials are changing the style of interaction and therefore the business models that underpin those interactions, says Mark Bannerman, MD at EOH Infor Services.
There was a time during the tumultuous 60s and 70s that the younger generation was admonished to “never trust anyone over 30”. You may have heard that quote – it was made a cultural touchstone by the likes of luminaries such as Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin and the Beatles. (Note: members of the younger generation who don’t understand those references should consult the Internet and the iTunes store.)
Today, members of the older generation seem to apply the opposite perspective – it’s hard to trust anyone under 30. Employers talk about a new generation of workers with a “me first” mentality, who place more value on their own entertainment than on company loyalty and work output. They value travel experiences, cultural interaction, and want to see and meet the world on their own terms, by non-conventional methods and alternative choices.
“The millennial generation has been raised like no other before it. Its membership has been electronically educated, babysat, monitored, befriended and networked, with all the inherent advantages and drawbacks that represents,” confirms Mark Bannerman, Managing Director at EOH Infor Services, Infor’s Master Partner in Africa, operating as a Gold Partner.
It’s how they read, think and interact – or not, as the case may be. “They place great value on a ‘like’ from their tribe. If you can’t cater to, entertain or amuse them, you ought not to count on their patronage. They are contradictory, but they have our complete attention… and there are many good reasons for that – they are set to rule the world,” adds Bannerman.
We live in an unparalleled age of widespread, high-velocity technical and social change. Assisted by a worldwide mass media informational network, social change takes place on a global scale and an hour-by-hour basis. Now, from the social perspective, 30 years isn’t a lifetime, it’s two or three.
There are more than 2.9 billion millennials worldwide. They will be more than 50% of the worldwide workforce by the year 2020, and more than 75% by 2030. They comprise the most ethnically and racially diverse generation the world has produced. Millennials are less nationalistic and more globalised in their perspectives and attitudes, and they have more spending power than any other age demographic. They embrace an online lifestyle, social connectivity and brand loyalty. “To win them over to your product or service, you must woo and win their social tribe, but once you do, they remain fiercely loyal,” confirms Bannerman.
Millennials are not only increasing the demand for advanced technology, but are also changing the style of interaction, and therefore the business models that underpin those interactions. Remember when ‘cotton was the fabric of our lives’? Now it’s the Internet. Millennials prefer self-directed research, unimpeded around-the-clock access and rapid fulfilment – all the characteristics of compulsive behaviours linked with shortened attention spans. Like it or not, millennials have the clout to change the way the world behaves, and how we'll conduct business; only the smart will survive.
“We may not know precisely what this brave new world holds in store, but the most plentiful and resourceful generation the world has ever produced is on the rise. It’s time to trust the future to everyone under 30,” concludes Bannerman.
EOH Infor Services was founded in 1995 as Baan South Africa, becoming Softworx after a management buy-out in 1999. It became a member of the EOH Group in December 2000 and in 2011 was appointed as the only Infor Gold Channel Partner in Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2014, it was appointed as Infor Master Partner, one of only a few worldwide. Most recently, as the result of a rebranding, it became EOH Infor Services in 2018.
The company focuses on providing the right solutions to its customers. It delivers enterprise applications, enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions, and drives extended best of breed solutions including; supply chain planning, extended warehouse management, asset maintenance, hospitality management, product life cycle management, information management (BI, data warehousing and analytics), and enterprise performance management (financial planning, forecasting, budgeting, consolidation and governance).
For more information, please visit www.eohinforservices.com.
EOH is a proudly South African business and the largest technology services organisation in Africa. The JSE-listed group has strong empowerment credentials and with its 11 000-strong workforce in South Africa, is characterised by excellent delivery capability, great people and a strong culture.
EOH provides a broad range of technology solutions and innovation to clients in South Africa and internationally, covering many aspects of society and the economy, and geared towards supporting the developmental agenda of our country.
In keeping with its purpose, EOH launched the “EOH Youth Job Creation Initiative” five years ago, which to date, has resulted in the creation of over 35 000 jobs for our youth.
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