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ICT investment trends in the retail sector :Enterprise ICT spending patterns through to the end of 2016

ICT investment trends in the retail sector :Enterprise ICT spending patterns through to the end of 2016

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Executive Summary

Retailers are keen to invest in various ICT domains to gain competitive edge and more visibility in 2015. The need to engage customers and improve the shopping experience is further driving retailers towards adopting new technologies and platforms, which is expected to play a bigger role this year. While merchants focused more on in-store marketing strategies and multichannel retailing in 2014, this year is about investing in convergence and providing a unified experience for the shopper

Key Findings

Kable's survey finds that retailers are increasing their expenditure on disruptive technologies such as business intelligence, communications & collaboration, and cloud computing solutions in order to reach out to consumers more effectively and reduce operational time and costs.

POS (point of sale) technology, beacons, wearables, augmented reality, and 3D printing are some of the technologies retailers are experimenting with to drive sales and enhance the shopping experience.

Retailers are also vigilant about the growth of the mobile market in 2015, and feel the need to develop their own customized applications and integrate them with new features to improve customer experience.


This report presents the findings from a survey of 163 retailers regarding their Information & Communications Technology (ICT) investment trends. The survey investigates how retailers currently allocate their ICT budgets across the core areas of enterprise ICT expenditure: hardware, software, IT services, communications, and consulting.

The report illustrates the core technologies that enterprises are investing in, including business intelligence, communications & collaboration, and cloud computing. The survey also highlights the approach to purchasing technology adopted by retailers. Through Kable's survey, the report aims to provide a better insight to ICT vendors and service providers when pitching their solutions to retailers. The report also focuses on retailers' ICT expenditure trends for specific technology areas, identifying the top three IT projects, and understanding the business challenges faced by organizations.

In particular, it provides an in-depth analysis of the following:

How ICT budgets are set to change in 2015 in terms of their overall size

Allocation across the core elements of IT spend, including hardware, software, services, communications, and consulting

Distribution of ICT money in areas such as the networks, applications, service desk, and data centers

Which ICT functions retailers are interested in outsourcing

Retailers' investment priorities based on their budget allocations across core technology categories such as business intelligence, communications & collaboration, and cloud computing

Factors that are influencing retailers' investments in each technology category

How retailers' IT budgets are currently allocated across various segments within a technology category

Retailers' distribution of their ICT budget across various segments within a technology category

Vendor satisfaction ratings for various core and advanced technology categories

Insight into retailers' preferred buying approaches

Business and IT objectives that retailers' are looking to achieve through their IT investment strategies

Factors that are influencing retailers' decisions to select an ICT provider

Reasons To Buy

Understand how the retail sector's ICT landscape is set to change in 2015 to prioritize your target market

Comprehend how money are being allocated by retailers in specific geographies and size bands to improve your market penetration

Make effective business decisions by recognizing the opportunities within each of the core areas of ICT spend (hardware, software, IT services, telecommunications, and consulting)

Realign your sales initiatives by understanding the current strategic objectives of retailers

Enhance your market segmentation with the included, detailed breakdown of opportunities within selected technology categories (business intelligence, communications & collaboration, and cloud computing)

Prioritize your focus areas by understanding which factors are influencing retailers' decisions when selecting an ICT provider

Understand the changes in customers' priorities and identify the business and IT objectives that retailers are looking to achieve through their ICT investment strategies

1 Trends in ICT budgets

1.1 Introduction

1.2 Survey demographics

1.3 ICT budget changes

1.4 ICT budget allocation by core technology area

1.4.1 Hardware budget breakdown

1.4.2 Software budget breakdowns

1.4.3 Third party IT services expenditure

1.4.4 Cloud computing budget

1.5 ICT budget allocation by function

1.6 Outsourced IT functions

2 ICT investment priorities and vendor satisfaction

2.1 Introduction

2.1.1 Business intelligence

2.1.2 Communications & collaboration

2.1.3 Cloud computing

3 ICT procurement trends

3.1 Introduction

3.2 Business objectives and IT objectives influencing IT investment strategy

3.3 ICT provider selection

4 Sector-specific trends

4.1 Introduction

4.2 IT expenditure plans for various technology areas

4.3 Technology areas receiving the largest investments

4.4 Upgrades in technology areas

5 Summary

5.1 Retailers are embracing convergence and diversification to innovate, differentiate, and grow in an increasingly competitive market

6 Appendix

6.1 Definitions

6.2 Further reading

6.3 Contact the authors

Figure 1: Retail - enterprise ICT survey geographic breakdown

Figure 2: Retail - enterprise ICT survey breakdown by size band (number of employees)

Figure 3: Recent and expected ICT budget changes among retailers

Figure 4: Retailers' (external) ICT budget allocation, 2014 and 2015

Figure 5: Retailers' average hardware budget allocation

Figure 6: Average allocation of software budgets among retailers

Figure 7: Retailers' average IT services budget allocation

Figure 8: Retailers' average cloud computing budget allocation by technology

Figure 9: Retailers' average cloud computing budget allocation by implementation type

Figure 10: Retailers' ICT budget allocation by function, 2014 and 2015

Figure 11: Outsourced IT functions - Retailers' current and future outsourcing priorities

Figure 12: Business intelligence - Retailers' current and future investment priorities

Figure 13: Business intelligence - selected primary provider and vendor satisfaction among retailers

Figure 14: Communications & collaboration - Retailers' current and future investment priorities

Figure 15: Communications & collaboration - selected primary provider and vendor satisfaction among retailers

Figure 16: Cloud computing - Retailers' current and future investment priorities

Figure 17: Cloud computing - selected primary provider and vendor satisfaction among retailers

Figure 18: Business objectives and IT objectives which influence retailers' IT investment strategy

Figure 19: Factors influencing retailers' decision to choose an ICT provider

Figure 20: IT expenditure plans in 2015 compared to 2014, for specific technology areas among retailers.

Figure 21: Top three IT projects in 2015 for retailers

Figure 22: Upgrades in the following technology areas for retailers

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