What Millennials Expect from Workplace Technology and What It Means for Business Software Buyers

Jody Kaminsky, Senior VP, Marketing, Ultimate Software

November 5, 2015

 In this blog post, Jody Kaminsky, Senior VP, Marketing at NetSuite’s partner Ultimate Software reveals new findings from research into today’s workforce and their expectations regarding technology in the workplace, as well as detailing the meaning of these findings for business software buyers.


In cooperation with Jason Dorsey and The Center for Generational Kinetics, Ultimate Software recently conducted some groundbreaking research into the impact that younger generations are having on the expectations the overall workforce has for the business software(opens in new tab) they use.

Millennials, also known as Generation Y, are the fastest-growing generation at work and the largest generation in history, with nearly 80 million individuals. Our research dives into the present and future workforce by viewing millennials through the context of the three other generations in the workforce. By surveying a broad cross-section of Americans 18 or older who are either currently employed or looking for work, we’ve created a powerful lens through which we can analyze the generational challenges in the labor force.

Surprisingly, what this new study found was that older generations technology expectations are becoming similar to millennials—in that every generation is beginning to have the same expectations for technology in the workplace.The study found that all four generations now expect the software they use at work to operate like consumer-grade applications, particularly in the area of mobile accessibility, speed, simplicity, and efficiency.

The Findings: All Generations

  • Due to the pervasiveness of social and mobile technologies, all generations now expect speed, simplicity and efficiency in the business applications they use at work.
  • One out of three workers say they will abandon a discretionary transaction in a business application, such as applying for a new job online, if they are asked to input the same information more than once. All generations agreed that they don’t expect business software to “waste their time” by making them re-enter information or import data that already reside in another system.
  • Almost half of millennials expect to be able to complete key transactions with their business software from a tablet or mobile device.This impacts business software design significantly, as an increasing number of users are logging into their business applications from a mobile device the majority of the time versus a desktop computer.

What Does This Mean for Business Software Buyers?

Although millennials felt the most strongly, the reality is that every generation in the workforce now has the expectation that they can complete work via business software quickly. What do users mean by quickly? In this study, millennials indicated they wouldn’t spend more than one minute reading through the job description in an online job posting.

All generations expect a consumer-grade experience from their technology at work. They want technology to be efficient and to not waste their time. No one wants to re-enter data. This means business applications must design for users as if they are consumers—and match the user experience of consumer applications.Business software for the new generation of workers must focus on accessibility from any device, making information and transactions with the software simple and fast and taking advantage of any integration between business applications when possible—to reduce the amount of duplicate data input required of users.

User experience with business technology is becoming critical not just to recruiting and retaining millennials, but all generations who now have expectations that the software they use at work with be mobile-friendly, flexible, simple and easy to use. What does this mean for software buyers? Business software buyers should look for solutions that don’t just automate complex business process—but that also focus equally on the experience of the end user (the employee).

These new study findings also validate the NetSuite SuiteCloud approach of integrating the business software ecosystem. For example, integration between business software that doesn’t require users to re-enter credentials (login information) or information such as address or phone number, and that allows users to automatically populate information from one system such as payroll to another system such as General Ledger, without requiring data re-entry or manual importing of data, will all be key to the business software ecosystem of the future.

Through Ultimate Software’s partnership with NetSuite, we are mutually able to provide more efficient and simple business software experiences to our customers through key points of integration between the Human Capital Management (HCM)(opens in new tab) system and NetSuite’s other business applications such as General Ledger.Improving speed and simplicity for users to interact with their business applications will become a competitive advantage for businesses across all industries—and NetSuite and Ultimate Software are committed to leading the charge in designing the business applications that build stronger businesses.

For more information on the Technology Expectations of Different Generations study, visit http://www.ultimatesoftware.com/workforce2015(opens in new tab).

Jody Kaminsky is a senior executive with more than 15 years of experience researching and writing about trends in human capital management and cloud technology. Since 2005 Jody has been leading Ultimate’s marketing team, promoting innovation and creativity through advertising, public relations, lead development, social media, and events. Ms. Kaminsky has served as Senior Vice President of Marketing Communications for Ultimate Software since April 2010, Vice President of Marketing from July 2005 until April 2010, and Director of Strategic Marketing from November 1999 through June 2005. Prior to that, Ms. Kaminsky held various positions with General Electric's GE Information Services division, including Manager of Communications and Community Relations. Ms. Kaminsky is a frequent speaker on trends in human capital management including generational considerations in the workplace, creating a brand as an employer of choice, the business impact of employee engagement, and the advantages of HCM technology in the cloud.

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