Amazon, Alphabet and Walmart Were Top IT Spenders in 2018

01/17/19 03:07 PM EST
By Kim S. Nash 

Amazon.com Inc. spent more than $13.6 billion on technology in 2018, making it the biggest corporate IT spender in the world, according to new research from International Data Corp. Google parent Alphabet Inc. and Walmart Inc. were in second and third place, respectively, with each spending nearly $12 billion last year on software, hardware, services, telecommunications equipment and staff, IDC says.

Servers and other data-center infrastructure account for much of Amazon's and Google's spending as they build cloud services to sell to other companies often seeking to decrease their own IT budgets, says David Lantsman, research manager for customer insights and analysis at IDC.

In 2018, the top 10 companies accounted for 7% of the estimated $1.1 trillion spent by the 4,800 firms IDC tracks.

Walmart, the only retailer in the top 10, has been spending heavily on technology to improve its supply chain, e-commerce and logistics services, said Jeremy King, executive vice president and chief technology officer at Walmart, speaking with CIO Journal's Sara Castellanos on stage at the National Retail Federation conference in New York on Sunday.

Mr. King said IDC's estimate, $11.7 billion dollars for 2018, included spending in hand-held technologies, registers and robots, among other areas. He said Walmart will shell out more this year. For instance, Walmart will expand use of robotics in warehouses and stores, integrated with inventory and other systems, he said.

He said Walmart expanded its technology team by about 1,700 technologists in 2018 and expects to add another 2,000 this year, he said. "We are expanding technology investment rapidly."

Amazon's growing cloud business requires an ever-growing number of computer servers, Mr. Lantsman said. Amazon leads the public cloud services market as Google and Microsoft Corp. fight to catch up, as CIO Journal reported in October.

"They're spending gobs and gobs of money building out these computing platforms across entire world," Mr. Lantsman said.

Banks also were big spenders, including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co. Cybersecurity and digital banking tools are notable investment areas for banks, Mr. Lantsman said.

Write to Kim S. Nash at kim.nash@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 17, 2019 15:07 ET (20:07 GMT)

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