Tomorrows IT Work Force: Tech-Savvy, Business-Focused

Gartner analysts say young turks will replace aging boomers over the next decade.

ORLANDO—Were in the midst of a work force sea change, as the vast crop of Baby Boomers, now dominant among the IT work force, retires, to be replaced by tech-savvy twenty-somethings over the next decade.

That was the message voiced by several Gartner analysts Oct. 9 at the consultancys annual Symposium and IT Expo here.

As technology-minded youngsters take their place in corporate America, including the nations IT departments, they will bring with them a passion and an expectation for the latest and greatest in technology.

How businesses respond to these high expectations will go a long way to determining their ability to attract good people and thereby retain a competitive technology edge, said Gartner analyst John Mahoney in a presentation.

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If companies IT operations are heavily outsourced so that they cant respond with leading edge systems, theyll be at a disadvantage in attracting the best and the brightest, said Gartner analyst Linda Cohen in an interview.

Mahoney predicted that the IT professional of tomorrow will have a blend of skills from different disciplines and will not be purely focused on technology.

"By 2012, people with business or business-technology hybrid experience will take at least 75 percent of strategic IT decisions," said Mahoney, noting that the current percentage is less than 40 percent.

Contrary to the views of some, Mahoney said that by 2012, the contribution of IT to corporate success will be cited in the top three success factors by at least half of the top-performing companies.

Conversely, IT barriers will be cited in the top three failure factors by at least half the lowest performers, he added.

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