There is plenty of talk about generation X and Y and of the next wave of business leaders being well versed in technology and more open minded about how they purchase it and get results.
It is certainly a feature of the market that more line of business managers are under 40 and the rise of concern about 'millennials' has coincided with the emergence of cloud and mobility ushering in different working patterns.
The channel is not immune from the trends in the wider market and there are already signs that the next generation are starting to exert more influence on the shape of the future, with many spearheading the move towards cloud and managed services.
In recognition of the changing world IT industry organisation CompTIA has cut the ribbon on a Future Leaders Community designed to encourage collaboration in those in the channel that are aged 35 and under.
The idea of the group is to have a dialogue between all generations with the next batch of channel leaders getting the chance to learn from those that have already gained those positions as well as to gain knowledge from their peers.
“They’re our digital generation and we can learn a lot from them,” said Nancy Hammervik, senior vice president, industry relations, CompTIA.
“They don’t think they know it all,” Hammervik added. “They want mentorship. They want to learn about the channel and the industry; about how to conduct themselves in a business environment; and how to put themselves on a fast track for career advancement.”
At the most recent CompTIA conference in London last November the theme of millennials was one discussed with Todd Thibodeaux, CEO of CompTIA, telling MicroScope that half of those running the channel could retire in the next eight years and there were changes coming as younger people with fresh ideas, particularly around using technology, entered the business.
"The next generation is coming through and the channel has to be prepared for that and has to be speaking their language," he said.
CompTIA has already had 50 people sign up to join the leadership community and some of those that have joined are looking for tips from some of those that have already started to change the workplace.
“We want to share with others the different characteristics of this next wave of IT leaders and how our generation consumes information and engages with technology," said Rory Jackson, senior network engineer, Business Continuity Technologies.