The E-Business Generation
It would be hard to study for any professional qualification in modern times without encountering the wonderful term of e-business – defined as: ‘altering business processes through the use of internet technology’.
When teaching I have always wondered why this, the most interesting of subjects to me, failed to provoke the same level of excitement in students that it does in us tutors. That was until several weeks ago…
I was standing outside a well-known concert venue in Manchester with my wife waiting for the doors to open, in a crowd of people of mixed ages. The band have been around since the early 90’s and I’ve seen them many times in the intermittent years. A young lady, say about 20, and her boyfriend of similar vintage were standing in front of us in the queue, bemoaning how difficult and unfair it was that they had to be online at exactly 9am to secure their tickets.
At this point I had to interject and point out the following: that the first time I saw this band there was no online ticket sales. I had had to play truant at high school and make my way to my local Box Office in Liverpool, and camp out for 6 hours awaiting for it to open, complete with a flask of Chicken Soup on a cold February morning. I paid cash and got the tickets then and there, no PayPal, no Ticketmaster and no ‘Printable Tickets’. Then the banter started. I had to point out that yes, the tickets were in fact colour and not black and white, and no, you could not buy those tickets with a ration book!
It wasn’t until a few days later when I was teaching an ICAEW paper that it hit me. The generation gap for technology between a 20 year old and a person in their mid-30s is massive. I realised that those of us of a certain era have been lucky enough to live through a revolution. Students not being impressed at e-business is not due to a lack of interest, is it a symptom of taking it for granted!
I’ve since asked students to go through how they thought things worked before, and some of them were genuinely surprised that these practices existed as recently as the 90s! This approach has engaged students on the topic ever since.
So what I would say to those of you who maybe have a bit more patina, sit back and celebrate the development you saw that others won’t see – and then of course let them mock you!
Observations by Jamie Bacon ACMA. Jamie is a Tutor and CIMA Course Manager for our Manchester Centre. Having been with BPP for 8 years he specialises in Strategy and Finance Papers both Classroom and Online learning.