Education IT Spending To Top $56 Billion by 2012
In the United States, IT spending in education will reach $47.7 billion by
the end of this year and is expected to top $56 billion by 2012, according to
a new report from Compass
, an IT consultancy and market research firm. This growth in
education -- both K-12 and higher ed -- is being fueled in particular by expenditures
in telecommunications, collaborative technologies and outsourced IT services.
According to the new report, "Education Snapshot: Learning with Technology,"
the bulk of education IT spending is occurring in higher education -- about
64 percent versus 36 percent in K-12. In 2008, telecommunications accounted
for almost $16 billion of total education expenditures, but, according to Compass,
this category will be outpaced by outsourced IT services over the next four
Stephanie Atkinson, managing partner and principal analyst for Compass Intelligence,
said in an e-mail interview, "Most of the spending is in telecommunications
and applications. Applications is one of the fastest growing categories. This
includes things such as learning content, student-teacher-admin portals, video
applications and more." She said that shifts in IT spending in education
are being impacted largely by "the younger generation entering into the
education workforce, [who] are becoming increasing factors in terms of influencing
the decision-making process for IT purchases."
Atkinson also cited virtualization as an important factor impacting IT spending,
although virtualization was not quantified in the report. "It is becoming
increasingly difficult to manage disparate IT systems, servers and networks,"
Atkinson said. "Virtualization could be a crucial area to help improve
these challenges. With bandwidth and security of IT systems becoming large priorities,
virtualization can do nothing but improve IT management for schools and universities."
Another large category for education in general, according to the report, is wireless technology. It's expected to account for $13 billion in education IT spending in 2008, or about 27 percent of the total forecast. More than half of higher education campuses are currently using wireless, and some 35 percent of total K-12 schools are using or are expected to be using wireless by the end of the year.
This wireless explosion, in turn, is also fueling spending on security.
Internet and electronic learning tools will account for $9.1 billion in spending in 2008, which the report said is expected to grow to $12.9 billion by 2012.
The report also highlighted mobile computing as a growing category, a trend
that's expected to continue for the next three to five years. According to information
released by Compass on Thursday, "When asked which mobile and Internet
applications Education IT decision-makers plan to roll out within the next six
months, collaboration applications ranked the highest."
Dave Nagel is the executive editor for 1105 Media's educational technology online publications and electronic newsletters.