The threat of competition and challenging economic conditions are driving retailers toward packaged software applications that reduce expenses, increase operational efficiencies, and maximize revenue from existing customers, says a new report from AMR Research.

AMR says retailers’ total information technology budgets are allocated as follows: application spending (15 percent), software technology (11 percent), hardware (28 percent), headcount (17 percent), networking (14 percent) and services (15 percent). Economic conditions are driving retail companies to plan for more conservative IT spending, with an overall budget increase of only one percent projected in the coming year. Databases, network management, and security remain among the top three technology investment areas for 2002 and will drive the retail applications market over the next several years.

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