Let’s start by understanding who millennials generation are. Millennials are individuals born between the early years of the 80s and the mid 90s. They are the only generation that has ever transitioned into two completely different eras: pre-internet and the digital age. Also, we could define this generation as the individuals that were born at the same time as the internet revolution.

This “egocentric”, “self-interested”, “ambitious”, “phone-obsessed”, “unfocused”, “difficult to manage” generation is now the largest workforce within companies (around 24 – 39 years old). Not only this, but also these “independent”, “dreamers”, “flexible”, “multitasking”, “fast adopters”, “oriented to teams and people”, and “entrepreneurs” will represent 75% of the global workforce (around 31 -45 years old) in companies for 2025 (according to studies).

Vertiginously, this generation of employees, customers, families, and shareholders will continue to change the way we do business. Seeking ways to change the world offering a technology-driven approach contributing to having a financial but more important social impact.

So, what role do millennials play today in organizations in the areas of risk, compliance, and internal audit?

Are Millennials Killing Risk, Compliance, and Audit?

I am part of an internal auditors’ group and within the conversations with the directors I identified a constant pattern—they are continually looking for new internal auditors to work in the area. When asked what is happening, basically most blame the Millennials for killing the areas of Risk, Compliance, and Audit. They are struggling to encourage the new generation to work and stay for a long time in the areas. They also confirmed that finding new talent with a certain profile to join the team, it is more difficult than before.

Therefore, I wonder if Millennials generation is really killing audit, risk, and compliance areas or whether risk, compliance and internal audit topics are not of interest to this generation?

Let’s break this down.

Or Is GRC Killing Millennials’ Expectations?

First, Risk, Compliance, and Audit areas are mostly known for the lack of technological support within the companies. The challenge of these areas is to have to operate “manually” at the speed of the digital world. These departments invest significant amounts of manual time investigating, collecting, analyzing, monitoring and reporting their activities trying to provide a vision of the company (praiseworthy).  Most of the people know that the fuel of this internet plugged generation is the use of technology to facilitate, flexibilize and improve their life and work.

So, having said that, are Millennials “killing” the areas, or the areas are “killing” millennials expectations? How could we help this idealistic and fantastic generation to encourage them to think creatively and be able to keep them in the area?  Reinventing with technology.

Besides that, Millennials do not want to be seen just as a number. They want to feel like they are contributing to something important, and risk management is and will continue to be an important matter.

Risk Issues Are Definitely Front of Mind for Millennials

Second:  I cannot imagine that Risk, Compliance and Internal Audit topics are not of interest for this generation. Today the risk perspective is more complex and interconnected, so companies must be ready to mitigate risk and change as quickly as possible. Boards are demanding more visibility and transparency to identify, analyze and respond more proactively to potential risks and opportunities.

Our next generation is exposed to many risks than before; just to mention a few examples of risks nowadays:   fraud and transaction detection, third-party risk management, data security, identity and access management, cloud security, control and power over data, data protection, etc.

Also let’s keep in mind that one of millennials motivation seek from organizations is the “Social aspect” and the loyalty of that is gained through risk management.

SAP, GRC,  and the Next Generation

So, what is SAP doing for the next generation in the areas of Risk, Compliance and Internal Audit?

Now is where the path to an Intelligent Enterprise arises. First, begin with the identification of voluminous and repetitive tasks or processes in the company or the areas. After that, begin to automate the processes with ease and intelligence so that the team focuses on higher value tasks and begins to retain our top millennial generation talents. Then provide the information to executives to predict potential risks with greater precision and speed.

If you are interested in the latest intelligent innovation in SAP GRC, take a look at the following blogs:

Bottom line

Organizations are facing the need to adapt to the generations.  Some generations depend on their experience and knowledge, the others on information and flexibility.  Respecting risk and compliance, there is a need inevitably to adapt and invest in technology so that the next generations can stay a lot of time in the company giving success. It is time to get down to work and build the road to the millennials.

If you are a millennial and you are reading this blog, I encourage you to stay tuned on the GRC evolution because I’m sure we’ll be entertained for a while.

PS If you are worried about the millennials, generation Z will arrive soon!!!