IT Budgets for Retailers to Remain Stable and Grow

Despite a difficult economy, 51% of retailers expect IT budgets as a percent of sales to stay the same, and 26% expect budgets to grow because of projects already underway.

These findings are in the first ever annual Aldata global retail CIO survey. The study was jointly sponsored with IBM and conducted by Martec International, a retail industry research specialist. CIOs and IT directors in Europe and the US were surveyed in the last quarter of 2008. One important conclusion: retailers are far less likely to invest in areas that don’t deliver short-term Return on Investments.

In looking at logistics and distribution applications, retailers chose real time warehouse management as their chief interest. According to the survey, within the US 84% of those surveyed are already using such solutions with another 11% planning upgrades.

Within the US, 100% of retailers responding to the survey have implemented mobile applications, with 16% of them planning to upgrade over the next three years. By contrast, of those surveyed abroad, 62% have implemented mobile applications, with 29% planning to upgrade or implement new systems.

Of retail survey respondents, 30% consider automatic replenishment as the most important optimization and stock management application, closely followed by demand forecasting, at 27%. Within the European community surveyed, 97% are utilizing automatic replenishment applications, with half of them currently implementing upgrades or planning new systems.

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