Walmart Is Still the Largest IT Investor in the World

For the second year in a row retail powerhouse Walmart has spent the most money on IT ($10.5 billion) — more than another other company across industries, by a lot. IDC annual report, Worldwide IT Wallet, ranks Walmart ahead of second place finisher Wells Fargo & Company by over 65%.

When it comes to scale few companies can come close to rivaling Walmart in shear IT maintenance costs, let alone on developing new technologies — which the retailer has done plenty of over the past few years.

2015's $10.5 billion estimated IT spend is a 5% increase over 2014's $10 billion estimate. To compile the record-breaking spend IDC considered hardware, software, IT services, telecommunications services, and internal IT costs. The top 10 finishers spent an estimated $53.7 billion, up from $45.3 billion in 2014.

Over the past 12 months Walmart has made significant investments in improving the customer experience and equipping their in-store associates with the tools necessary to meet shopper demand. The major initiatives invested in in 2015 include: supply chain, e-commerce,mobile payments,online grocery,  

"In the technology and e-commerce space, we continued to innovate with a focus on the customer," Douglas McMillon, CEO and president, Walmart said in a recent earning call with analysts. "We have developed a new platform that we can scale across the business. We have improved our fulfillment capabilities with new fulfillment centers that are helping us get orders to customers' doors faster and more efficiently. And we continued to see growth in store pickup for online orders. We also expanded online grocery shopping to over 150 locations across more than 20 markets in the U.S.

"New technology is in our associates' hands, and better processes are creating efficiencies in the stores, driving higher in-stocks and a continuing decline in comp store inventory. As we have discussed, there will be more investments necessary to further deliver on our plan, but we have remained on task and we're seeing progress."

IDC's Top 10 IT Spenders
  1. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. ($10.5 billion)
  2. Wells Fargo & Company ($6.3 billion)
  3. Bank of America Corporation ($6.3 billion)
  4. Citigroup Inc. ($5.4 billion)
  5. AT&T Inc. ($5.0 billion)
  6. JPMorgan Chase & Co. ($4.8 billion)
  7. Verizon Communications Inc. ($4.4 billion)
  8. HSBC Holdings plc ($3.8 billion)
  9. Alphabet Inc. ($3.4 billion)
  10. General Electric Company ($3.3 billion)