Millennials at the gates? Baby boomers in the drivers\u2019 seats? The modern workplace is evolving rapidly, and technology needs to evolve along with it. As organizations transition to a dramatically different vision of\u00a0tomorrow\u2019s\u00a0workplace, the CIO will play a critical role in executing on the vision.\u00a0\nEmbracing an increasingly virtual workplace requires more than a new technological infrastructure that is flexible enough to change when employee requirements change as well. The shift requires CIOs to play a role in addressing the generational divide between millennials and the more \u201cexperienced\u201d members of the workforce. As the first fully digital generation, millennials often have a more natural affinity to technology than some of their co-workers. But they also may lack communication and other skills, which can create tension with colleagues.\nDavid D. Burstein, author of Fast Future: How the Millennial Generation Is Shaping Our World, suggests mixing new and veteran employees on teams and projects. Such cross-pollination will help older workers learn some of the millennials\u2019 newer tech skills, while millennials can absorb workplace culture lessons from their more experienced colleagues.\n\u201cMillennials should be empowered to use their tech savvy \u2013 a major asset \u2013 not just to help the company, but all their fellow employees as well,\u201d Burstein wrote on Huffington Post.\u00a0\nCIOs can also influence the evolving policies around how employees communicate. Millennials are frequent texters, while older workers may disparage that form of communication. Burstein believes organizations should strive for a middle ground that accommodates texting as part of a broader set of communication policies.\nBoosting the Business\nTechnology can help enable these cultural shifts. CIOs can and should drive adoption of what McKinsey calls Enterprise 2.0 tools \u2013 Web-based social technologies that originally were made popular by consumers, but that are becoming more central to businesses. This includes not just social networking, but also wikis, blogs, video sharing, and podcasts. Millennials expect to use the tools at work in the same way they use them as consumers. This can boost a business: McKinsey found that companies using these tools extensively perform better than businesses that don\u2019t.\n\u201cCompanies have to get more comfortable with this sense of openness,\u201d Burstein said in an episode of Modern Workplace on YouTube. \u201cIt\u2019s really important for companies to understand that social media is not this other thing that\u2019s out there. It\u2019s a fundamental part of our world and people of this generation really value it.\u201d\nTo build tomorrow\u2019s workplace, CIOs need to lead by following \u2013 following the requirements of employees, and then leading by building an infrastructure that enables them. It also means building a technology architecture that takes as its starting point the actual scenarios that employees encounter every day, and following the same type of design guidelines that customer experience designers use for consumer-facing apps.\nDone right, CIOs will help their organizations craft a workplace that makes it easier for people to do their work, share ideas, and collaborate with others \u2013 wherever and whenever they wish.