PHOENIX, Aug. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The information technology (IT) workforce is transforming as the millennial generation moves into more prominent roles throughout the industry, the president and chief executive officer of CompTIA, the IT Industry Association, said here Tuesday.
"Right here, right now this transformation is taking place," Todd Thibodeaux said during his state of the industry keynote speech Tuesday at ChannelCon, the premier partnering and training event for the IT channel.
"These young professionals are already out there making a difference. They're eventually going to be leading this industry in a very short period of time."
Millennials – born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s – are 80 million strong in the United States and more than one billion in numbers worldwide.
"By 2025, millennials will make up 75 percent of the workforce," Thibodeaux noted. "They are changing the DNA of our industry."
Thibodeaux shared the stage with two members of the millennial generation who are already making their mark in the IT industry – Sam Ciaccia from Datto and Brittani Von Roden from Erb's Technology Solutions.
Asked what they need from their older colleagues, they cited feedback and freedom.
"We really want constant feedback," Ciaccia said. "We are begging for feedback, not just once a year, not just once a quarter, but once a week."
"Give us a little rope and let us run with it," Von Roden remarked. "Trust that we have your best interests at heart."
Thibodeaux announced that CompTIA will create a new Millennial Advisory Council, a group tasked with helping the association and the industry stay relevant for the up-and-coming generation.
The theme of change was echoed in a conference keynote speech by Lisa Bodell, founder and CEO of futurethink and a globally recognized innovation leader and futurist.
Bodell said too many people and too many organizations are managing, not leading.
"We are not growing leaders within many companies; we are grooming professional skeptics," she said. "You're taught to eliminate risks and that makes it hard to take them. Thinking has become a daring act."
In order to learn something new, we have to try something new. A good starting point on the road to innovation is to identify the factors that are holding back change.
"Get rid of things that don't work to make space for the things that do," she advised.
"Change is a choice," Bodell concluded. "You do not have to do it. But do you want to be the ones who are taking orders? Or the ones who are influencing change?"
Some 1,000 executives and owners from many of the top companies in the IT channel are in attendance at ChannelCon, which continues today.