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Interestingly enough, one of the key reasons that retailers are slow to adopt new technology is that their existing technology infrastructures – the hardware and software systems that form the backbone of their IT operations – limit their ability to roll out promising new technologies. Retail Systems Research's 2013 Merchandising Benchmark report underscores this point: "Forty-five percent of retail winners believe their existing technology infrastructure is preventing them from moving forward."
Big Data and analytics, currently the rage in many industries, provides a prime example. E-tailers such as Amazon and Netflix pioneered Big Data and other analytics techniques during the last decade. But a recent research report from EKN, Big Data in Retail, points out that retailers in general spent less than half of 1 percent of their entire IT budget on Big Data projects in 2013. Moreover, they lack even the basic analytic maturity that is required to take advantage of Big Data insights: only 60 percent of retailers are able to perform even basic analysis and reporting tasks.
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