Students’ demand drives Aussie IT spending

Australian educational institutions are increasing information technology (IT) spending in response to dramatic changes in student expectations, according to IDC.

Spending by Australian educational institutions is expected to peak at US$1.6 billion by 2020, driven by software and services related investments. Education practices are shifting away from the classroom towards e-learning and virtual instructor-led training approaches as students are demanding anytime-anywhere remote access.

In its recently published Australian education sector report, IDC highlights the need to overhaul existing ICT management models in schools and universities so that a step-change improvement in delivery efficiency can be achieved.

Not only is there a need to break down operational silos by establishing one universal workflow, but there is also the need to personalise student experience.

“Undoubtedly, higher educational institutions are under pressure to transform. They are often decades or century-old institutions that need to reinvent themselves to continue to attract high quality students. In particular, a digitally transforming marketplace like Australia demands new skills and digitally equipped graduates. Utilising ICT led innovation to enable this is becoming the primary objective. We observe that discussions are in place among faculty members, administrators, and students to prioritise use cases and goals for personalised learning,” said Jaideep Thyagarjan, Senior Industry Analyst of IDC.

“One of the areas in which these institutions can transform is in what IDC classifies as Intelligent Campus Operations (ICO). Intelligent campus operations (ICO) is a cutting-edge cloud and analytics-based command center solution that leverages sensory data (eg IoT) and crowd-sourced information to intelligently deliver mission-critical insights that helps campus operations teams be more efficient by providing a 360-degree view of operations. This is one of the key enabling solutions under the umbrella of IDC’s Smart Campus taxonomy,” said Gerald Wang, Head of the IDC’s Asia/Pacific Government and Education Insights practice.

The report reveals that “Smart Campus” initiatives not only provide alternative pockets of ICT sourcing avenues, but also dictate clear project outcomes that are usually towards the achievement of certain prescribed strategic and operational goals of the higher institute of learning; thereby, improving strategic business-IT alignment within educational institutions.

“Enhancing service delivery to students is all about getting into a state of resonance where educational institutions are able to completely digitize campus-wide operations, offer omni-channel access and follow an established governance structure for using digital assets”, said Thyagarjan.