I saw a rather interesting article that reported that teenagers of today text more than teenagers of last year. Who cares right? Of course more teens are texting with there being more teens and more phones. What I found interesting is the ramifications for now and a few years from now. The teens who are texting now are the next wave to hit the workforce. They are more tech savvy and have different opinions about data and legality. No I am not taking this into a generational soapbox of "When I was their age we had to use rotary phone…” But I am going to point out some topics I think one should be aware of regardless if your business is in information technology or not.
With greater social media out there, there is greater exposure of your media and information. You need to be aware of these as a business not only for marketing but also for vulnerability. You hear and read of more people each year losing jobs or getting into legal trouble for items on their social media sites. How will your company deal with these possibilities? Do your clients or competitors have access to these avenues of media? To teens, it seems that the use of the media is almost second nature and not threatening. I am not saying they are naïve or not concerned, but they are comfortable with it. The awareness that will be needed in a professional environment may not match up with their current awareness. Is having different data awareness wrong? No. Getting into the workforce at a professional level is exposure to a new sub culture of our society. Some may be prepared, others not so much. Having training available and an understanding of what is expected of them is invaluable. Have this in place and you can increase the success of new employees.
Data security is another issue. Once it is on the internet, it is out there forever. There is not do over for a data leak. It could be small, it could be news worthy large. Posting, texting, emailing, and tweeting can all lead to a data leak. Having the protocols and training in place for the staff members will reduce the risk.
Become savvy yourself. By being aware of the capabilities and limitations of the technology out there, you will strengthen you position and have a better idea of how to go forward. Just because it is out there doesn’t mean you should use it. But you should at least look into it to see if the technology would work for you. Three years ago if you told me that IM through MS Lync would be a major tool I use each day I would have laughed at you, "I don't IM at work, I am working". Well, I use it every day to speed up communications within the company and with select individuals outside of our company. There could be that work changing tool out there, and you know, the new hires might already know how to use it!!!