Universities in Asia Pacific will spend more on technology over the next four years to cut costs, according to market research firm IDC.

The amount of money spent by institutions on IT will grow by 5.2% annually from 2015 to 2019, increasing from US$8.7 billion in 2015 to US$10.4 billion, IDC forecast in a study of Asia Pacific countries (excluding Japan).

Cutting operating cost is the biggest driver of IT investments across universities the region, according to the study.

Universities in developed countries display a “more mature IT spending pattern, where IT spending is shifting from hardware to services and software”, said Shreyashi Pal, Market Analyst, IDC Government Insights.

Technologies around cloud, social media and Big Data analytics will drive the greatest benefits. “By utilising collaborative cross-functional ecosystems to resolve multifaceted challenges, Asia-Pacific tertiary institutions can gain greater productivity and efficiency as compared with independent endeavors”, added Gerald Wang, Programme Manager, IDC Government Insights.

However, the amount that universities benefit from these investments depends on the maturity of their infrastructure and their willingness to increase their investments, it said.