The Future of Tech: How Gen Z Will Reshape the Enterprise

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Gen Z Tech Industry

A recent report by Dell Technologies delves deep into Gen Z's perception of the tech enterprise,  revealing a global shift in perspective on what the future of tech should represent.  

The report captures the voice of over 15,000 young people across 15 different countries, asking questions about the enterprise’s hottest topics and greatest challenges for the coming decades. 

Generation Z currently makes up 30 per cent of the population and is expected to represent over a quarter of the global workforce by 2025. Decisions made by policy-makers today will impact them more than any other generation before. 

As Gen Z enters the workforce, their perspective is turning to the future of work, and a lot of their priorities are defined by the pandemic and worsening climate crisis. 

They ranked sustainable energy (50 per cent), enabling a circular economy (36 per cent) and more sustainable public transport (29 per cent) as the top three priority areas for governments to prioritise in the future. 

“Gen Z will arguably be the most impacted by public and private investment decisions taken today and will facilitate and maintain a long-term, sustainable recovery, Aongus Hegarty president of international markets at Dell Technologies, commented on the report.  

"There is an opportunity to earn the support of Gen Z for longer-term strategies that put sustainability at the core of economic growth strategies.”

Being the world’s first digital natives born into a world where digital technologies form the backbone of society, Gen Z also understands the importance of technology within the enterprise and views digital skills as being critical to being successful. 

Three-quarters of respondents recognised the value of acquiring new digital skills for future careers, with 74 per cent considering learning a new digital skill as essential to making them more employable in the future.

Sustainability over economic growth 

Recent studies have shown that the majority of Business Leaders do not see environmental sustainability as a viable business strategy. 

They demonstrate a clear gap between long-term ambition and short-term action for sustainability within the enterprise, with many executives believing that the cost of sustainability outweighs the potential benefits despite understanding the urgency for climate action. 

As Gen Z workers reach high-level positions within the enterprise, however, findings show that this could change in the near future. 

One of the major takeaways from the report was Gen Z’s view of sustainability being more important than economic growth for the future of the enterprise. 

Globally, over a third of respondents said they would be willing to accept short-term economic  limitations to allow policymakers to invest in a long-term strategy for a more sustainable future. 

To read more about sustainability, visit our dedicated Business Agility Page.

For many respondents, this strategy must involve technology. 65 per cent of those surveyed said that technology will play a major role in fighting the climate crisis. 

“It’s clear that Gen Z sees technology as pivotal for their future prosperity,” Richard Rawcliffe, Vice President and General Manager UK Public Sector, Dell Technologies, commented on the findings. 

“Gen Z comprises digital natives passionate about social issues such as sustainability. There is an opportunity to earn the support of Gen Z for longer-term strategies that put digital transformation and sustainability at the core of economic growth strategies,” he added. 

The Digital Divide 

Globally, but in the UK especially, respondents expressed their concern about the divide in digital skills education. 

Over half of UK respondents said that school only taught them very basic computing skills and one in ten did not receive any technology or digital skills needed for their planned career. 

“There is still a digital poverty gap in parts of our society, as well as a digital skills gap, so more can be done to set them up for success through improvements in the quality and access to digital learning for all, Mr Rawcliff explained. 

“It will require constant collaboration between businesses and schools to keep pace as technology evolves and bridge this digital skills gap,” he added.

44% of UK respondents said that educators and businesses should work together to bridge the widening digital skills gap, whilst a third suggested making technology courses at all education more interesting and widely available. 

“Despite an imbalance in access to digital skills through education, the research shows Gen Z see tech playing an important part in influencing what matters to them: access to healthcare and sustainable infrastructure,” Dr Eliza Filby, Generations Expert & Historian of Contemporary explained in response to the findings. 

“The real takeaway from the research is Gen Z are actively identifying the areas they want to see change; with a clear vision of the role they play as individuals, in bringing about that change," she added.

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