Information technology demand in Australia has been in a long-term slump over the past few years and it’s getting worse, according to new research from the University of Adelaide.
In its latest annual report, the research organisation says IT demand is expected to drop to 1.8 billion gigabytes (GB) by 2020 from 2.2 billion GB in 2019, with the lowest growth expected to be in the public sector.
But, it warns that the outlook for IT demand in the private sector remains uncertain and that demand will likely fall further if governments continue to cut back on IT spending.
The new report, titled A New Year’s Challenge: How Information Technology Is Changing the Workplace, warns that IT demand may continue to fall as businesses cut back in areas such as IT support staff, IT support and IT procurement.
“The outlook for the supply chain of IT services remains uncertain, as government budgets continue to be cut,” the report says.
“While the overall demand for IT services is projected to be lower than in the past, it is forecast to increase from 1.5 billion GB to 2.3 billion GB by 2020.”
However, in 2019 the supply of IT resources will remain weak and there will be a need for a strong and sustained supply of qualified IT professionals,” the research found.”
In particular, it will be critical for the IT industry to develop strong relationships with industry-leading IT providers to maximise the returns from the investment in IT infrastructure.
“In the private and public sectors, the demand for information technology is projected by the research to increase by 50 per cent over the next five years to reach 1.9 billion GB and is forecast by the study to continue to increase until it reaches 2.4 billion GB.
The demand for software is also expected to grow by 45 per cent and is projected for its growth to reach 2.7 billion GB, with demand for applications, services and data by the private sectors expected to rise by 50 to 70 per cent, according the report.”
There is a growing demand for the information technology workforce, which is needed to support all aspects of Australia’s economy, from the health, education and economic development sectors to the environment, and to meet our national security objectives,” the study said.
It also said the Australian economy will grow by 1.2 per cent per annum to $17.3 trillion by 2020, with services to support the economy growing by 13 per cent to $4.4 trillion.”
Demand for IT infrastructure is projected at 3.3 to 4.5 trillion GB, and for IT support services, services to help with IT security, IT operations and infrastructure to increase to 5.6 to 6.1 trillion GB by 2021,” the survey found.