According to a survey of retail executives from Cap Gemini Ernst & Young's Consumer Products, nearly 44.6 percent of retail IT budgets will increase in 2002 with the bulk of that spend going toward maintenance and production.

The Executive Technology/Cap Gemini Ernst & Young Retail IT Research Report 2002 also gives insight into the relationship between a consumer-focused business strategy and IT operations.

The study points out that consumers are generally interested in technology applications that provide greater convenience, speed and cost savings. For example, nearly 80 percent of consumers used, plan to use or would use an automated payment facility at gas pumps. Consumers also use automated teller machines (75 percent) and debit/credit self-operated key pad machines at checkout (66 percent). Technology that is least likely to be used by consumers includes Internet access in stores (25 percent), automated meal planners/budgeters (12 percent) and promotions/specials that can automatically be sent to wireless devices (11 percent).

The research revealed a significant lack of alignment between technology investments and business strategy among retailers. Two-thirds of retail executives said their technology is only somewhat or not at all aligned with their current business strategy. Such a lack of alignment can hamper bottom- line profitability and can result in operational inconsistency, value leakage, and misdirected and unnecessary IT spend. The study also found that executives tend to view their company's IT process areas in a very limited way ƒ{ as a necessity for day-to-day business operations, rather than as a strategic tool that can enable differentiation or competitive advantage.

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Information Management content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access