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Mike JohnsonGuest author: Mike Johnson, Director UC Architectures & Solutions

“Gen X is tech savvy, while Gen Y is tech dependent.”

Sound about right? This statement (credit to Rowan Trollope, senior vice president and general manager of collaboration technology at Cisco) speaks to the future of the American workplace. BYOD is no longer an up and coming trend—it’s now, and statistics are showing that CIOs who don’t adapt today will have to play catch up tomorrow.


Case in point: A July report from CompTIA showed that 61% of workers in their 20s use a personal device at work, nearly twice the 32% of 60+ workers who use one. Even among workers in their 30s, who may not quite fit the typical definition of a Millennial or Gen Y, 59% use a personal device for work. (This chart illustrates the findings.)

Even more intriguing, by 2015, Gen Y will make up the largest segment of the American workforce, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Because Gen Y is larger than Gen X, as Baby Boomers retire, this young, tech-savvy generation will have more opportunities to leapfrog their older coworkers, both in title and in influence. Whereas a Gen X-led workforce in 10 years might have somewhat accelerated BYOD and tech adoption, handing over the reins to Gen Y soon could lead to massive changes in how technology is used in the workplace.

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What’s your take? Do you think Gen Y will lead a “tech revolution” and further accelerate the growth of personal technology in the workplace? Or are these fears just hype, and Gen Y’s appetite for tech will moderate as they age?