My four-year-old’s latest parlour trick is to turn on the PC, open up a browser window, find the Cbeebies home page, and play away. She can manage this completely unsupervised. Unchecked, she can be playing away for several hours at a time. To our embarrassment, she often pulls the same stunt on the computers of any friends or relatives we happen to visit – no matter the hardware or operating system.
This got me thinking. my daughter”s only four now but in twenty odd years she’ll probably be a business IT user, and her expectations of what she’ll expect her company’s IT to deliver will have been shaped by her experiences as a youngster:
- Immediate access to applications regardless of the hardware you happen to be using
- Questions like “can I run this on my machine?” are irrelevant
- Any delay in accessing / retrieving information is unacceptable
- All IT and communications hardware is connected to the Internet without restriction
- The physical limitations of the hardware you’re using shouldn’t get in the way of productivity
No major new insights here – but it is fascinating to think that a whole generation of youngsters are growing up taking things like networking, broadband access and cross-platform compatibility completely for granted. Their expectations of what IT can deliver are entirely different.
In the meantime, I think I need to set up some password protection and access restrictions back at home!