According to Gartner Inc., youth matters more than ever in IT, especially as the Web becomes more interactive and collaborative and heads in directions that Baby Boomer-aged IT managers may be ill equipped to lead.

For sure, said Gartner analysts recently at the firm’s ITxpo Conference in Orlando, the recognition by CEOs of IT’s strategic importance is moving senior IT managers close to the top of the corporate ladder. At the same time, career opportunities built on the CEO’s recognition of IT’s importance to business survival is also moving more CIOs closer to the door.

“The number of CIOs leaving their jobs doubled this year,” said Gartner CEO, Gene Hall. “Why? Many CEOs believe that their CIO is cost-focused and not capable of contributing to growth — and they need IT to contribute to growth.”

Gartner analysts said that companies poised for future growth will be clued into the so-called consumerization of IT, a catch-all term covering the mobile, customizable and heavily interactive technologies those in their 20s now seem to expect.

Contrast that to senior IT managers, who are likely “middle aged, middle income, middle class, middle-of-the-road, midlife-crisis, mid-sized managers from the Midwest,” said Gartner analyst, Mark Raskino.