Tech-Savvy Millennials’ Impact on Government Technology

The landscape of the government workplace is changing and so are its employees.

Outnumbering their baby boomer counterparts, Millennials are the largest demographic group and the fastest growing generation in the workforce. In 2015, Millennials “surpassed Generation X to become the largest share of the American workforce,” according to the Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.

According to a 2016 report from Forrester Research, the Millennial workforce is the best at testing and adapting to new technology. That means that when it comes to technology in the workplace, their influence is apparent and growing.

Millennials influence as both members of the workforce and U.S. citizens affects not only how government agencies operate internally, but also how they interact and service citizens. From BYOD (bring your own device) policies in government offices to the expanding use of rugged mobile computers and tablets, in-car video systems, body cameras and other technologies installed in police cars, the expectations surrounding the usage of technology in federal and public sectors is increasing, and Millennials are leading the charge.

Technology in the Public Sector

According to the Center for State & Local Government Excellence, Millennials now make up 24.5 percent of public sector employees. In the past couple of years the advancement and adoption of technology in the public sector has been crucial and for law enforcement, technology now plays a critical role in every day policing. The growing  use of mobile devices, the emergence of cloud computing, digital storage systems and new software applications, have enabled officers to make the switch from pen and paper to faster, more efficient methods of collecting and sharing information. The use of mobile computers has allowed officers to communicate in real-time with dispatch and other agencies and more efficiently process field audits, issue parking violations, and conduct accident reports, reducing errors while improving response times. By embracing a tech-savvy millennial workforce agencies can not only help advance the technical knowledge of their employees, but also employ relevant technology to the benefit of the agency and the public.

Despite the growing use of mobile devices, apps and software, the pace at which government agencies are adopting new technology is still much slower than the private sector. This ultimately affects their ability to attract and retain the best and brightest millennial talent and not taking advantage of the technology that this workforce expects is a missed opportunity for the government to create change in the lives of its citizens and its employees.

Serving Millennial Citizens in the Public Sector

Millennials that are accustomed to the technologically advanced services of the private sector, will continue to grow as a population, driving government agencies to start thinking about how to best serve the current expectations of these new customers. For Millennial customers, the ease and convenience of online forms, quick responses, and digital payment options are now an expectation. Millennial citizens want easy access to government services, and that means websites and digital forms that are straightforward and integrated with mobile devices. In order for government to keep up with the demands of today’s generation, it is critical that they leverage the technology and service expected by that public.

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