Walmart, BoA Are Top IT Spenders - InformationWeek

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4/8/2015
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Walmart, BoA Are Top IT Spenders

Walmart tops the list of the 10 biggest IT spenders, which otherwise is dominated by banks and financial services companies.

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The world's largest companies spent about $895 billion on technology in 2014, according to research firm IDC.

The top 10 IT spenders accounted for $45.3 billion of that total. At nine out of ten of those companies, technology spending rose between 2 and 10 percentage points in 2014, compared to 2013.

IDC's study, "The Big Guns: IDC's Worldwide Top Ten IT Spenders," identifies Walmart Stores as the top IT spender. The retail giant spent $10.16 billion on IT in 2014, a 3.1% increase from the $9.86 billion it spent in 2013.

Second-ranked Bank of America spent about half what Walmart spent on IT in 2014, $5.33 billion, but its spending growth percentage, at 6.2%, was roughly double Walmart's.

Citigroup, AT&T, and JPMorgan Chase represent the remainder of the top five. IDC's study indicates that, on average, about a third of the technology spending by these companies goes toward salaries and benefits for internal IT and telecommunications staff.

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IDC program director Jessica Goepfert said in an email that the largest companies are spending on a combination of customer-facing and enterprise-focused projects, along with initiatives to adopt and advance third-party platform technology.

"This indicates that companies recognize the imperative to implement innovative technologies to remain competitive while balancing necessary investments to 'keep their houses' in order," said Goepfert.

(Image: 401(K) 2012 via Flickr)

(Image: 401(K) 2012 via Flickr)

Bank of America, said Goepfert, has retired more than 18,000 applications since 2010 to simplify and modernize its platform. "Meanwhile, the company is also utilizing big data to help with its customer retention efforts," she explained. "This includes, in part, a consolidated central analytics group to foster more transparency and communication across channels for a smoother customer experience."

Among financial services and retail companies in particular, said Goepfert, mobile technology initiatives aim to meet customer needs. "Walmart, for instance, is very focused on mobilizing the store," she said. "The company claims it was the first retailer to launch geo-sensitive functionality that changes the user interface of its customer-facing mobile application when a shopper enters the store."

Goepfert pointed to Nordstrom as another large retailer that manages to be innovative in terms of IT. The company, she said, has found ways to use technology in the service of its mission: to provide a great customer experience. "There are a variety of examples -- from its point-of-sale system, to different apps it has launched," she said. "What is unique is that the company, despite its size, seems to be able to execute its strategy in a cohesive, integrated fashion."

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Thomas Claburn has been writing about business and technology since 1996, for publications such as New Architect, PC Computing, InformationWeek, Salon, Wired, and Ziff Davis Smart Business. Before that, he worked in film and television, having earned a not particularly useful ... View Full Bio

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soozyg
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soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
7/5/2015 | 6:47:03 PM
Re: walmart
@batye @tjgkg yes, Amazon the powerhouse. I normally hate behemoths but they have proven they have the golden touch, I agree. I really can't live without them. Ha!
soozyg
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50%
soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
7/5/2015 | 6:45:21 PM
Re: walmart
@tjgkg yes, I miss Sara's wigs and her amazing interviews and Susan putting an emoticon after every thing she typed. And I miss Dave naming things and giving things titles as we went along.....
tjgkg
50%
50%
tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
7/5/2015 | 5:26:25 PM
Re: walmart
@soozyg: Ah the Chat Monster!!! Those were the daze... You are so right about missing the intimacy of the old place. While i still see the old gang from time to time (it is good to see Batye again), i miss the community we had and the frequent get togethers.
tjgkg
50%
50%
tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
7/5/2015 | 5:24:03 PM
Re: walmart
@Batye: I like Amazon and i don't even have the Prime membership!
soozyg
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50%
soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
7/3/2015 | 1:37:32 PM
Re: walmart
@tjgkg yes, remember the Chat Monster? lol The transition to a new company might be another example of bigger NOT being better. I miss the intimacy of the old house....
tjgkg
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50%
tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
7/3/2015 | 12:42:40 PM
Re: walmart
@soozyg: "Sort of real time" was the operative phrase!!! I remember how much fun we had sorting out connection issues. But it was a great community and it is good to see you and some of the other folks from the good old days.
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
7/2/2015 | 1:05:37 AM
Re: walmart
@soozyg same here.... as my wife always plans shopping trips from 2:00 to 4:00 :)... I do hope to see more radio shows at 12 or 12:30 :) 
batye
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50%
batye,
User Rank: Ninja
7/2/2015 | 1:02:58 AM
Re: walmart
@tjgkg yes, I could not agree more... Amazon it like power house with golden touch... this days....
soozyg
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50%
soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
6/24/2015 | 2:28:06 PM
Re: walmart
@tjgkg yes, I miss those radio shows. We actually (sort of) talked in real time! I hope they do the shows again, and not at 3pm EST, I'm always carpooling my kids at that time.
tjgkg
50%
50%
tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
6/22/2015 | 5:51:45 PM
Re: walmart
Hey soozyg! Yes it has been a long time. I miss those radio shows too! AP sounds like a good deal. Amazon really knows what it is doing.
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