Data Democratizes Tech For Any Age

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A few months ago, I read a Wall Street Journal article which really stuck with me. It was focused on the workplace divide when it comes to adopting new technology. The main takeaways? Tech resistance is not based on age and workers need to see how new technology will benefit them for optimal adoption.

Recent research conducted by Dell with IPSOS, an independent firm, provides a case in point: Despite the understanding from employees that passwords protect their business’ data, 62% of employees of all ages consider passwords to be an annoyance of the workplace.[1]

While the above stat really shouldn’t surprise anyone, we used our study to further explore what 1,050 full-time working adults in the U.S. across a variety of generations, thought about their work PCs, their security behavior and feelings about advanced security features like biometrics. The research uncovered a consistent theme that should offer some promise to IT decision makers everywhere – the overwhelming majority of employees today would both welcome and use new security tech if it was made available to hem.

Let’s take a closer look:

Bridging the Age Gap

While it may seem like a 23-year-old and 56-year-old might not have a ton in common when it comes to technology, this data shows otherwise. Across all questions related to PC security, we saw plethora of places where the line between each age gap blurred, including their opinions on biometric security. In general, while built-in biometric security on PCs is still up and coming for most, just 25% of millennials have built-in biometrics, 16% of Gen X and 5% of baby boomers. 64% of respondents regardless of age, occupation or location said they would use it if they had it on their laptop. In addition, a majority felt biometric security would encourage better security practices. One point of slight dissonance showed that millennials strongly agreed that biometrics would encourage better behavior, meanwhile Gen X and baby boomers just somewhat agreed.

All three age groups ranked changing passwords as their most annoying regular security action, but looking deeper into the data, we found that millennial women found felt much stronger on this topic than their male counterparts – 68% of women said it was most annoying compared to only 53% of men.

At the end of the day, this data shows that while some generations may certainly be more tech savvy than others, PC security is important to everyone. Regardless of age, location, industry or gender,   all are concerned with PC security to varying degrees, as well as performance and connectivity. As laptops and other devices get faster, sleeker and more secure, it’s imperative that PC makers ensure we’re meeting needs across the board – from data security to the look and feel.

To learn more about our latest Latitude portfolio designed for all workers, including the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 with ExpressSign-in and integrated fingerprint reader, check out the blog here.

About the Survey

Respondents were interviewed online in English from March 22 – 26, 2019. In order to qualify for the survey, respondents had to be employed full-time. The precision of IPSOS online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of ±3.4 percentage points for all respondents.

[1] IPSOS survey conducted March 22-26, 2019 of 1,050 full-time working adults in the U.S., ages 18 and older

About the Author: Meghana Patwardhan

Meghana Patwardhan is a product management executive with over 13 years of experience in product strategy, definition, go-to market and operations. She currently leads the Commercial Client Products Group at Dell Technologies. Previously, she led Mainstream PCs Business Unit, Precision workstations Product Management team, and the Latitude Product Planning team. She holds an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from UT Austin and a MBA in Marketing from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. In her spare time, you can find her cooking, playing board games, traveling or hiking with her husband and two kids.
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