Business Focus is a weekly column providing at-a-glance statistics and commentary on spending priorities and trends in particular sectors. This week we look at food retailers.
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Large food retailers spend an average of £10,620 a year per desktop, compared with the average UK spend across all industries of £8,455.
At £4,907, the supermarkets' spend on IT services is greater than the UK average of £3,052, reflecting their widespread use of outsourcing. But the big food retailers spend less than average on hardware and IT staff.
Analysts agree that the four most important areas of IT for large food retailers are ordering systems, human resources applications, supply chain software and electronic point of sale systems. It is here that most of their IT budget gets spent, with much of it going to outsourcing suppliers.
Although food retailers spend twice as much on IT per desktop as fashion retailers, they spend slightly less on IT per employee than leading fashion companies such as Arcadia, Debenhams and Next.
The analysis is based on Computer Weekly's database of more than 60,000 IT budget holders, twice yearly user IT expenditure surveys, CBI/Kew senior executive surveys, government surveys, government demographic data, HM Treasury economic forecasts and Cambridge Econometrics industry sector forecasts.