Think about the characteristics that define which generation and millennials are characterized by their use of technology. The first generation that grew up as digital natives – they tend to have an instinctive understanding of how technology works without having to go back to “proof” (an old concept that only exists online anyway!)
Millennials are the current generation, they are on the move and post fast, unaccustomed to waiting for anything. They’re clamoring for super-fast connections, processing speeds, mobile apps, and services now – and they certainly won’t twitch until you get back to them in a couple of days.
But when it comes to business technology, does superior smartphone and social media proficiency mean you’ll make a natural ERP user and does the current look and feel of most ERP systems match the expectations of millennial workforces?
Here are 5 areas to consider.
Access from anywhere
Modern cloud-based ERP is accessed via an internet connection which means that digital natives will love cloud-native software. These days, we all need to work away from the office a lot of the time, so getting anywhere is vital. Anyone still using in-company systems would look like a dinosaur to a millennial workforce – you’ve been warned!
Well-designed and easy-to-navigate – Millennials have spoiled Apple’s enthusiasm for great design and this is something they are now looking for as a standard in their technology. Custom dashboards, with a choice of colors and day and night patterns, are reliefs.
simple to set up
An out-of-the-box ERP such as SAP Business ByDesign is a great option for millennial audiences as it will appeal to the casual spirit. Anything that takes several months to prepare means you risk losing your audience and frankly testing the patience of all age groups. Look for modular systems that are faster to implement and quick to value. This is the future and will allow for a world of almost continuous adaptation. No need to wait – which is great for millennials.
Ease of use
A certain amount of indigenous tech experts will go a long way along with the “growth mindset” that is taught in schools. Then, with a business system like Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), some training will be required. Millennials love the bite-sized approach to self-serve and supplier companies that perform well.
We’ve all been through the pandemic and those who coped best with work were comfortable from anywhere, using their favorite collaboration tools. Whether it’s coffee shops and Slack or Teams from your bedroom, everyone from elementary school kids to the CEO knows how to do it now. An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system that allows you to work together, across departments, and avoid siled information is a winner.
Most millennials laugh at the idea that you had to wait overnight for the reports. The fact that the latest data is always available in real time will be a basic level prediction for many people today.
The same goes for reports and analytics. There is now an expectation that you will be able to dig into the details via smart interfaces. Predictive technology is still the wow factor – so look to technology like SAP Analytics Cloud for some smart predictive analytics!
A lot of this is basic common sense and without it, not all table tennis tables in the world will make your workforce happy. When you track a deal across all departments or view your customer’s transaction history to serve them better, everyone benefits. Furthermore, with the new generation of bots that allow you to easily set up automation for the most boring and routine management tasks, you can free your graduates to do more exciting work and give them a chance to use their brains – after all, that’s why you hired them.
Note: Don’t forget to entertain them at the bar with stories of how companies used to work entirely on Excel spreadsheets – this should have them laughing.
As part of the Sapphire Systems group, our vision is to be the leading provider of a digital operations platform – creating digitally cohesive organizations that accelerate your digital future. We offer a one-stop shop for IoT integration and enterprise software that feeds data into any type of ERP system.
At Cloud Solutions he specializes in mid-market ERP solutions for SAP Business ByDesign. Lucy Thorpe is Head of Content, Social Media, Growth Business podcast host and former BBC journalist.