Top Trends Shaping the Higher Education Sector Discussed at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo on the Gold Coast, Australia, 14-17 November 2011 Education sector organizations in Australia will spend A$1.8 billion (US$1.9 billion) on IT in 2012, an increase of less than one percent over 2011, according to technology research firm Gartner, Inc. However, spending growth will increase to on average 2.7 percent from 2013 to 2015. The forecast includes spending by higher education institutions and primary/secondary schools on hardware, software, external and internal IT services and telecommunications.
Telecommunications is forecast to represent the biggest spending category, reaching almost A$628 million (US$666 million) in 2012. However, spending on software is expected to grow the fastest in 2012, up by 8 percent.
Speaking on ‘Education in a World of Choice, Not Chaos’ at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo on the Gold Coast today, Gartner research director Marti Harris said the impact of consumerization and the cloud over the past few years is now creating technical turmoil that is hitting the education sector with full force.
“Many university CIOs are scrambling to deal with it, while at the same time making quick progress in narrow areas, such as email in the cloud for students or identity and access management,” said Ms. Harris. “In general, the response is very clear: go back to the roots, focus on your core competencies and build a flexible infrastructure. However, we believe there should be more focus on the direct productivity of the institution and the faculty/student.”
According to Ms. Harris, education institutions have always been and should continue to be a safe haven for diversity and innovation founded in the tradition of academic freedom.
“This is increasingly difficult, however, in a challenging financial climate that favours economies of scale that imply standardization, not flexibility,” explained Ms. Harris. “Also where existing technical solutions take time, are costly to change and so are seen as inhibitors rather than enablers of change.
“Education sector CIOs need to find a way to better exploit technology by harnessing and integrating the innovative power of faculty and students for their own personal productivity and open up institutional infrastructures even more.”
Further information on education sector IT spending is available in the Gartner report: ‘Forecast: Enterprise IT Spending by Vertical Industry Market, Worldwide, 2009-2015, 3Q11 Update’, available at http://www.gartner.com/resId=1821741. This vertical industries forecast provides total enterprise IT spending, including internal spending and multiple lines of detail for spending on hardware, software, IT services, and telecommunications for vertical industries and 43 countries within seven geographies.
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