Cisco: Most of Gen-Y regard smartphones as 'extra appendage'

Summary:Admittedly, most IT departments know that Gen Y doesn't follow the rules all of the time, but a Cisco report argues that they don't realize how prevalent it is.

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As there are 206 bones in the human body, then the smartphone could be considered the 207th for the members of Generation Y, according to the 2012 Cisco Connected World Technology Report.

To get a better understanding of just how strong the mobile addiction among Gen-Y'ers is, researchers found that most of them view their smartphones as an "extra appendage" -- to the point where more than 2 out of 5 said they “would feel anxious, like part of me is missing,” if they couldn’t use it.

While that sounds a bit disturbing, there is a silver lining -- at least for employers and potentially businesses and marketers. Cisco argues that craving for connectivity is determining the world's next workforce: shaping how, when and where we work, shop, and play.

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For example, while two out of five said their company’s policy forbids them to use company-issued devices for non-work activities, nearly three out of four of them said they don’t always obey these policies.

Breaking the rules at work shouldn't be condoned, but it is important for IT departments and managers to be aware of this.

Cisco researchers acknowledged that most IT professionals already know that many employees don’t follow the rules, but the problem is that they still "don’t understand how prevalent it is," adding that more than half of IT professionals worldwide "thought their employees obey the policy on not using work devices for personal use."

If that hasn't been already determined as a major issue in 2012, it will be at the forefront of IT priorities in 2013 .

Here are some more highlights from the report:

  • 66 percent feel that "employers should not track employees' online activities," adding that "it's none of their business.”
  • Nearly 90 percent upload photos to share or store on Internet sites.
  • 57 percent are willing to share their email address with stores and online sites in order to receive notices about discounts and sales. (But they are not as willing when it comes to other personal data such as phone numbers or home addresses.)
  • 81 percent of respondents said they think people have different online and offline identities.
  • Smartphones now rival laptops as the single most-desired device by 18 to 30 year-olds.

For reference, this report is based upon the findings from a survey conducted by InsightExpress of 1,800 college students and young professionals aged 18 to 30 across the following 18 countries: the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Russia, Poland, Turkey, South Africa, India, China, Japan, South Korea, and Australia.

Images via Cisco

Topics: Cisco, Apps, Mobility, Smartphones, Tablets

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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