Younger Workers Ignoring IT Rules?

A recent survey/study by Cisco says that 70% of younger employees break IT policies; especially around accessing the internet. The implication and subsequent interpretation by many bloggers and media types is that this is a generational issue. Perhaps, but I’d love to see some data for older IT workers to compare to.

Regardless, if 70% of a large slice of IT staff are disregarding policies it indicates bigger problems to me:

1)      Policies are generally not being enforced

2)      Staff are not being educated on policies

3)      The reason for and importance of policies is not being communicated effectively

4)      Policies may not be keeping pace with the realities of working life

Management needs to make sure that policies reflect what is actually important to the organization in terms of business goals, security, compliance, and such. . . Then they need to make sure staff know the policies and understand why they are important, and finally they have to follow up to make sure policies are being followed. Actually if you are a publicly traded company this is required by law (Sarbanes Oxley to be specific) and if you don’t do these things your auditors will more or less do them for you.

These are ALL management functions that fall under the umbrella of governance. The bottom line is it’s management’s job to make sure policies reflect the needs of the business, and that employees are doing what they are supposed to do (i.e. following them). So this survey to me is as much an indictment of the general state of IT Management as it is entry level IT staff.

So what do you think?  Do you sense a difference between the younger generation and how they accept IT guidelines and rules?  If you are a member of that “younger generation” what are your opinions?  We’d love to hear from you and get your feedback on how you perceive the differences, if any.  Does the “younger generation” ignore IT rules?  We look forward to your feedback.
Jason Druebert Consulting Solutions Senior IT Service Management Consultant AT&T About Jason