According to IDC's 'Australia Education ICT Market 2012-2016 Forecast and Analysis' report, ICT spending in the sector will reach $2708.4 million in 2013, and increase to $2846.3m in 2016 to represent a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.7 per cent for the period.

The report indicates spending is dominated by hardware, accounting for 45.8 per cent in 2013, totalling $1240.1m. This figure will drop over the forecast period, though, to $1124.4m in 2016 for a negative CAGR of -0.7 per cent.

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IDC said that although this decline is driven by the downfall in PC demand, higher-than-expected tablet uptake could offset the drop in sales for desktop and laptops.

"As iPads and tablet PCs are increasingly becoming 'digital school bags', they are acting as 'thin client' for the education of students when connected over the Internet," according to IDC Australia vertical market analyst, David So.

"This trend will become the main driver for the growth in hardware in the education sector."

IDC said the government's investments in ICT infrastructure and education are enabling the digital delivery of education over the Cloud infrastructure for all students, even in remote regions.

In addition, education institutions are doing their part in driving transformational changes with the availability of technologies and how students are using more mobile devices, social media, and online applications.

"To mitigate the risk of being disrupted by technology and innovation, the Australian education sector is beginning to leverage off the Cloud infrastructure in the form of Internet applications that are driving the spending for mobility, social, and Big Data," So said. "As such, IDC believes these four ICT growth pillars will drive expansionary ICT spending by the Australian education market for the next three years."