IT spending forecast in the higher education sector in the Asia/Pacific region excluding Japan (APEJ) higher education sector will increase from $US8.7 billion in 2015 to $US10.4 billion in 2019, with a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.2 percent.
“Higher education institutions in mature economies display a more mature IT spending pattern, where IT spending is shifting focus from hardware to services and software spending components,” says Shreyashi Pal, Market Analyst, IDC Government Insights.
“This is because the APEJ tertiary education sector will be increasingly focused on addressing the urgent need to increase cybersecurity priorities of digital assets, reduce IT costs, improve business-IT alignment, and leverage cutting-edge technologies for IT consolidation and streamlining of scarce ICT resources.”
Pal says IDC Government Insights’ research also highlights that the opportunities for higher education in the Asia/Pacific region are rooted in personalised learning, collaborative education, and Smart Campus initiatives.
“It believes that dynamic business and technology landscapes are bringing about rapid changes to traditional tertiary education demands and practices,” Pal adds.
“Achieving adaptive agility has been more critical than ever to tertiary educators and educational institutions globally as a result of ensuring long term relevance and operational sustainability.”
According to Pal, the benefits of ICT in education varies from enhancing the learning experience and equipping students with new sets of skills, to expanding the reach of education to people having no access, as well as to reduce the cost of education.
The success of these benefits, however, depends on the maturity of the ICT infrastructure in the tertiary education system and the willingness of education institutions to increase ICT investments.
“All leading drivers of IT investments in higher education are related to bringing about better operational outcomes through cost reduction initiatives,” Pal adds.
“These priorities are notably universal across both higher education institutions in mature, and developing economies of the Asia/Pacific region.”
Going forward, IDC Government Insights have predicted that the 3rd platform technologies will be driving the education industry transformation and bringing about this change namely are cloud or X-as-a-service models, mobility, social engagement and collaboration, and Big Data and analytics.
“Third Platform technologies are bringing about higher education digitisation and operations transformation,” Pal adds.
“These new blended environments will offer seamless learning experiences, enhanced operational productivity to tertiary education users, open up new practices as well as operational excellence pursuits for the Asia/Pacific higher education sector in the coming years.”
Consequently, Pal believes blended and collaborative ecosystem that enables the intelligent, instantaneous, and gainful exploitation of organisational knowledge is critical.
“This is because the Asia/Pacific tertiary education sector will be increasingly focused on addressing the urgent need to increase cybersecurity priorities of digital assets, reduce IT costs, improve business-IT alignment, and leverage cutting-edge technologies for IT consolidation and streamlining of scarce ICT resources,” adds Gerald Wang, Program Manager, IDC Government Insights.
“By utilising collaborative cross-functional ecosystems to resolve multifaceted challenges, Asia/Pacific tertiary institutions can gain greater productivity and efficiency as compared with independent endeavours.”
IDC Government Insights found that tertiary education institutions today in both mature and developing Asia/Pacific economies continue to struggle with shrinking ICT budgets.
They also face strategic dilemmas in choosing appropriately across a wide range of ICT solutions to effectively cater to differing individualistic needs and technology readiness.
“Tertiary institutions in developing nations are noted to display strong overall growth rates with lower overall IT spending expenditure, and majority of their IT spending is concentrated in hardware expenditure,” Wang adds.
“The Asia Pacific countries are now leveraging the investments they have made to focus on software and services.
“The maximum growth potential seems to be in software in these countries. Infrastructural software is the biggest focus area, followed by applications.”
IDC believes the following key transformation drivers such as Democratisation and widening access to education; Internalisation of quality education through digital education initiatives; and the growing demand for personalisation and widespread collaboration are expected to drive Asia/ Pacific education IT investment in the next two to three years.