According to research from global market intelligence firm IDC, Walmart is the biggest information technology spender in retail and across industries worldwide, the report said. According to the IDC study, Walmart spends roughly $10.16 billion on IT expenditures.
“The big price for us in the future goes back to this integration of digital and physical,” said Walmart U.S. CEO Greg Foran said in an article for Retail Info Systems News. “We’re excited about that. We have some good ideas in that space and we’ve got to make sure that we develop the tools and the technology to get there.”
Reports detail the retailer’s $10-billion IT expenditure estimate to include hardware, software, IT services, telecommunication service, and internal IT spending. In one announcement, the company said that it plans for a large-scale investment in the integration of physical and digital and will be focusing a large portion of its IT budget over the next 18 to 24 months on this initiative, reports said. The investment is focused on four key areas: global technology platform, a next-generation fulfillment network, integrating digital and physical, and talent.
“We’ve talked about the importance of investing in talent and the fact that we are building a technology company inside the world’s largest retailer,” said Neil Ashe, Walmart president and CEO, global e-commerce, in the article. “In the past year, we have been able to build up our team to the critical mass needed to be that technology company. And we did it in a very selective way, bringing in some of the best talent in Silicon Valley through organic hiring and targeted acquisitions.”