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World’s Largest Companies Spent $895B on Technology in 2014, IDC

April 07, 2015, 07:02 AM
Filed Under: Technology

International Data Corporation (IDC) estimates that, including internal spending, the world's largest companies spent $895B on technology in 2014.  IT vendors of all flavors long to harness a share of their hefty IT wallets not only for the revenue gains, but also for the bragging rights.  To do business with these marquee firms is a stamp of credibility and an instant boost to market awareness.  This new study, “The Big Guns: IDC's Worldwide Top Ten IT Spenders,”  is intended to help IT vendors have a better understanding of business imperatives and objectives driving investments in these large global companies.  It can be also used as a benchmark to assists CIOs, IT executives, and line-of-business technology professionals in making more informed IT purchasing decisions.

The activities of the largest IT spenders provide a glimpse into how these industry leaders are taking steps to transform their businesses for 2015 and beyond. As we enter the "innovation stage" of the 3rd platform, IDC expects to see these companies focusing on value creation on top of their current technology foundation.  Key findings of this document include:

  • Wal-Mart Stores Inc. was the largest IT spender worldwide in 2014. Bank of America Corporation placed second, followed by Citigroup Inc., AT&T Inc., and JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  • Nine out of ten spenders increased their IT spending from 2013 to 2014.
  • On average, these companies allocate about 1/3 of their technology spending to internal IT and telecommunications staff salaries and benefits.

Among the top ten spenders, IDC notes a combination of customer-facing initiatives, enterprise focused projects and third platform technology adoption and advancement.  While varied, these companies have one characteristic in common: the expectation for high levels of service.  To help ensure the satisfaction of these strategic clients, IDC recommends vendors should not only listen to their feedback, but also respond and react accordingly.  Knowing the client's industry is table stakes; to become more embedded in their business and make a significant impact, the conversations between vendor and client must change to be process and outcome focused.

"When it comes to IT innovation, the world's largest companies are often criticized as being risk averse, sluggish and siloed," said Jessica Goepfert, program director of IDC's Global Technology and Industry Research Organization. "However there is no denying that the IT budgets of larger companies are, well, larger.  In addition, when acknowledged and appreciated, marquee organizations can be loyal, serve as references for industry peers, and also refer business to their major vendors."

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