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K-12 Curriculum Leaders Plan Further Spend on Admin Tools

EdTech purchase planning in K-12 schools across the USA is likely to deliver a raft of opportunities for technology vendors. Almost all curriculum leads are expecting to buy student-facing software applications, with school information systems (SIS) topping the list. That’s according to a new report from Futuresource Consulting, based on interviews with 406 school districts across all 50 states.

SIS Market Mature, but Still Rising

Although there’s already high SIS uptake, with around four in every five respondents confirming they currently have systems in use, the survey data suggests decision makers are open to additional solutions. 

“The door is open wide,” says Chris Pennell, Principal Analyst, Futuresource Consulting. “There are opportunities ahead for a wide range of vendors. Even when districts already have a system in place, that doesn’t mean their user needs are being fully satisfied.

“Curriculum leaders told us that data entry and the ability of systems to reduce admin workload for teachers are notable areas for improvement. Though that may be due to the low level of influence that teaching level staff have on these budgets. Our survey also shows a high proportion of districts typically have more than one vendor in place, so it looks like decision makers aren’t being loyal to any one brand.”

Opportunities for ERP Vendors

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is also a lucrative opportunity for vendors, with the majority of districts that aren’t using one at the moment planning an implementation in the next few years. It’s likely there’ll be opportunities for a range of providers, as Futuresource expects the market to follow similar patterns to the localized adoption of SIS. There are also opportunities within existing use cases to extend coverage across an increasing number of departments.

Rescue Package Spend Must Demonstrate ROI

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 has gone a long way to allocating extra budget for K-12 schools, particularly in technology. However, this governmental financial response to the pandemic applies to a wide range of different devices, operating systems and software solutions. This has meant that schools have found budget allocation a challenge.

“Being able to demonstrate return on investment will be a key factor in spend,” says Pennell, “as schools will not want to waste this stimulus money. Those vendors, value-added resellers and channel partners that can help schools ensure the solutions they do buy are integrated, and will be fully utilized, are the ones who will rise to the top.”

For further information on the EdTech Voice administration tools report from Futuresource Consulting or to make a purchase, please contact matthew.ledgerwood@futuresource-hq.com. Telephone interviews were carried out during May 2021. This is the second report in a series of four, which also includes client device computing, audio visual devices and classroom tools.

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Chris Pennell

About the author

Chris Pennell

Chris Pennell is a Principal Analyst for Futuresource Consulting and is responsible for researching and reporting on enterprise technology trends. Chris’s research is focused on working with vendors and end-user clients to understand how technologies are disrupting and transforming the delivery of services by public and private enterprises. His main areas of focus include the digital transformation of front- and back-office services through emerging technologies as well as the increasing use of smart city solutions to improve outcomes for citizens.

Prior to joining Futuresource Consulting, Chris has spent the past 12 years researching government’s use of technology to drive better outcomes for citizens, most recently as the Research Director, Government Insights at IDC and has been a regular speaker on Smart Cities and Government technology.

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