DataExchange ConnectivityOpinion

With Boomers Stepping Out, Are Demographics Driving Our Technology Destiny?

4.3 million US workers quit their jobs in August. Is that big?  Well if that trend continued we will lose 30% of the workforce in a year.  It’s a head-scratching headline that really deserves a moment to think about. Sadly, none of us has the time to do so, because we are just too busy. 

The US has about 164 million workers. The EU total is about 207 million. Baby Boomers make up somewhere between 30% to 50% of the overall workforce (depending on the country). Their median age is 66.

You can see where this is going. 

Boomer Exists Exacerbate Brain Drain

Something to remember: It was the Boomer generation that navigated us from green screens to modern-day technologies; from sunrise of client server to sunset in the cloud. The modern corporation, for better and worse, is the result of the Boomer generation’s relentless pursuit of creating and maintaining very complex systems. It’s not just that Baby Boomers are exiting the workforce, it’s that they are taking all the intrinsic subject matter expertise with them. What about Millenials?  A lot of them came into the workforce during the Great Recession. Things change dramatically after that.  It’s a setup for a massive knowledge gap.

I’ll never forget working with a company that had the most expensive Salesforce customization and implementation ever. To some this may seem ridiculous, but at that time and in that place it really was the right thing. They really did have complex operations that would have been far more expensive to re-engineer. But what if they were facing the same decision today? What would that organization be facing now? The people who implemented it may or may not even be in the workforce anymore. Where do we go from here?

Knowledge Transfer ASAP

“OK boomer?” As in…are you OK? Because, hey! We are desperate to keep you in the workforce! If you have not started your knowledge transfer programming, it is getting to the point that it may be too late. I will relate one story here. System implementations and replacement are always painful. But they do have one interesting side effect. For better or worse, employees are forced to grapple with the nuance of the business. 

In a heartbeat companies have shifted from recruiting for growth to recruiting for replacement. 

Legacy Assessment and Future State

If we are to move beyond an inheritance structure we must have a clear view for a future state. Where do we want to go with our systems? How does our system roadmap change assuming a complete upheaval of people? What if we were forced to implement a 35% workforce reduction in key technology-focused functions? How would that affect our priorities?

Integration and Data Strategy

At K3, data prep and enterprise integration is our specialty. Integration with legacy systems, database connections, file connections, API connections. All that data needs to be fetched, transformed, cleaned and taken to a modern destination. K3 ETL ensures those processes come off without a hitch, whether the destination is reached through K3 for Snowflake or routed to some new system. We spend more time thinking about enterprise integration than anyone we know. We would love to talk to your team about how to create a meaningful roadmap going forward.

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