Retailers Invest Heavily in Digital to Meet Customer Expectations

Retailers Invest Heavily in Digital to Meet Customer Expectations

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Global retail sector technology spending will grow 3.6 percent to reach almost $203.6 billion in 2019, with similar growth rates for the next two years, according to the latest forecast from Gartner. Customer expectations and competition are forcing retailers to evolve and invest heavily in digital business transformation.

Relative to other industries, retail has traditionally been a laggard in terms of appetite for change, digital maturity and hence technology spend, according to Gartner. However, this is no longer the case, and retail now surpasses most other industries with regard to IT spend.

Software is the fastest-growing category of technology spending, as retail CIOs prioritize analytics, digital marketing, mobile applications, e-commerce platforms and artificial intelligence (AI) as the technologies most crucial to their organization’s mission.

“Retail CIOs used to be tasked with minimizing risk and cost,” said Molly Beams, senior director, analyst at Gartner. “Now they are held accountable for business results. They are prioritizing ROI and other measurable business impacts. Retail CIOs are investing in analytics for both near-term benefits like decision making and to prepare for innovations such as smart machines, AI and augmented reality, all of which will require robust datasets.”

Retail IT Spending Forecast (Billions of U.S. Dollars)

 

2018

2019

2020

2021

2022

Internal Services

33.3

33.8

34.0

34.3

34.9

Software

30.2

32.8

35.7

38.6

40.5

IT Services

81.6

85.7

90.2

95.0

100.0

Telecom Services

27.4

27.0

26.7

26.4

26.0

Devices

12.4

12.6

12.6

12.5

12.4

Data Center Systems

11.5

11.7

11.7

11.7

11.5

Total Spending

196.6

203.6

210.9

218.5

225.4

Total Growth

5.6%

3.6%

3.6%

3.6%

3.1%

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