Are Gen Z'ers going to make data security a bigger issue?

| June 13 2018

Admittedly we probably discuss generational differences a bit too much at a broader societal level. There are millions of millennials, for example. Can we really generalize to the point that all of them received participation trophies as children and that will drive aspects of their adulthood? We really cannot, but we still do.

All this said, while aspects of this article will be generalized -- they have to be, as we don’t know every single member of Generation Z -- the fact remains that Generation Z is entering the workforce now. It’s actually an interesting time for Generation Z to be entering, because currently -- as automation begins to get to scale -- you’re seeing more entry-level jobs involve data analysis and aspects of social media management and/or compliance.

As a result, it’s important to ask: what will be the impact of Generation Z on issues around security and compliance and protection of data? This is the generation that’s supposedly already “mehhh” on Facebook, opting for more real-time visual mediums like Insta and Snap. (Also remember: it’s quite likely both their parents and all four grandparents are on Facebook, which is probably a deterrent there too.)

The big issue: Personalization over privacy

Generation Z will grow up in a fully mobile world. A Ponemon study about “The Future of Digital Experiences” revealed this basic truth: obviously all generations are concerned about their safety online, but the degree to which they’re concerned varies.

From Torque Mag:

According to the study, older generations are concerned about anonymity online and making sure their data and personal information is kept private.

This is in sharp contrast to Generation Z who is comfortable sharing personal data in order to get a more personalized experience. In fact, millennials and Gen Z are over 25 percent more likely than Gen X and Baby Boomers to opt for a predictive Internet. The study goes farther finding 50% of Gen Z would stop visiting a website if it didn’t anticipate what they needed, liked or wanted.

Follow this bouncing ball, then:

  • To retain this generation as consumers, companies need increasing personalization opportunities
  • That also means more data to capture and store
  • This is all happening at a time of increasing regulation globally (think GDPR and what might follow in North America)

See how this might create a challenge on the compliance side?

Now think about how they’ll want to work

Gen Z might not even be embracing the laptop. It’s possible some of their parents never bought them one. It’s mobile all the way, baby.

Managers are already reporting they’re “not too excited” about Generation Z entering the workforce. In addition to the standard reasons about potential entitlement, one concern is that digital device use might explode in terms of legacy operations needing to shift to Slack, internal messaging, internal social, etc. even more. It’s a lot to keep track of and be compliant around.

One of our colleagues at Hanzo actually went to a recruiting event in Atlanta, Georgia a few weeks ago, and a recruiter from a major Fortune 500 company admitted “No one under 25 right now can write an email, and I’m not sure anyone knows how to even check for them.”

That might sound like a lot, but it’s closer to reality than we think. Messaging apps and quick text platforms are going to become increasingly normative at work. Email might fade out. Remember: at one point voicemail was everything. Who leaves voicemails anymore? The same can happen to email.

But again, this creates an overwhelming compliance and regulatory environment for those of us on that side.

How we’re going to help

We’re not going to spend paragraphs here extolling our virtues. We’re a good product. People buy us. They trust us. They use us for business critical needs and overwhelming “Oh, no we have all of these messaging apps”-type situations.

If you’d like to see Hanzo in action to see how it might benefit your business, just let us know below and we’ll get you hooked up:

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