IT spending in the education sector could top $3.2 billion by 2015, according to research by IDC, a market research and advisory company.
According to the company, which has detailed its findings in its report, titled "Education ICT Market Forecast and Analysis 2011 to 2015", the education sector already contributes 5.9 per cent of Australian IT spending. That represents about $2.8 billion this year, but IDC research manager Emilie Ditton believes that it is only the tip of the iceberg.
"The education sector is experiencing a revolution, which has just begun, and will accelerate," she said.
"There is an opportunity to enable access to education resources to a far broader base of the population, and to provide a new richness, real time and visual interactivity in education experiences that will have the potential to excite and stimulate the imagination of teachers and students alike."
In taking advantage of this opportunity, Ditton believes that IT spending in Australia's education sector will increase to about $3.2 billion by 2015.
In existing spending, Ditton noted that the education sector has heavily focused on hardware.
"A very significant investment has been made in infrastructure and hardware within, and for the education sector," Ditton said. In fact, according to the report, 41.7 per cent of education-sector spending in 2011 was in hardware.
But Ditton suggested that this spending is going to slowly shift.
"Education organisations are now required to build the application, platforms, services and solutions that will utilise that hardware and deliver the experiences, interactivity and outcomes this infrastructure investment promises. Video conferencing, collaboration technologies, mobility and storage will be particular areas of ongoing opportunity."
According to the report, other key areas of focus will be migrating to new hardware and/or software platforms, aligning IT and information systems with business directions and developing business cases for IT investment.