2023 ONLINE RETAIL PRIORITIES
Welcome to the third instalment in our deep dive on Node4’s Mid-Market IT Priorities Report 2022/2023 – this week exploring how online retail IT leaders are navigating and mobilising technology.
From holding firm with budget ambitions to perfecting the careful balance between security posture and productivity, online retail IT decision makers are focused on maximising investments to help weather the present economic storm.
Find the top three IT priority trends – as revealed by 459 UK IT decision makers – below, or download the full report below.
1. KEEPING BUDGET AMBITIONS HIGH
Our report tells an interesting story about IT budgets in online retail.
Despite having more faith in budget effectiveness (perhaps confidence stemming from pandemic successes), many decision makers recognise that their ambitions are inevitability capped by the absence of cash.
Take, for example, the contradiction that 74% of online retail IT respondents are satisfied with their budget, yet 39% say they need a significant IT budget increase to meet their goals.
Is it a matter of IT decision-makers appreciating that technically, organisations can make do with what they have, yet they ultimately believe that true transformation calls for a far more considerable investment? We’ll continue to observe how this develops throughout the year.
Even with this in mind, optimism remains in generous supply. For example, 27% of IT decision-makers in online retailers expect their technology budgets to increase next year. That’s up from 11% in 21/22 – the largest jump of all four surveyed sectors. So, it would seem like those budget increase aspirations may well be on the cards.
2. BALANCING SECURITY STANCE
Cybersecurity is the single biggest investment driver for online retail, with 28% of IT decision-makers citing the need to shore up digital defences as their number one priority.
When increased cyberattacks pose the most significant current and predicted threat to business, that investment focus is wholly understandable. However, it’s important to note that productivity (25%) and data governance (24%) are only a few percentage points behind in terms of IT priorities.
So, what do these numbers tell us? A preference for productivity suggests that online retailers are keen to maximise the technology investments made in response to the pandemic, but not at the expense of data and infrastructure security.
This is a wise stance and we predict that organisations will spend much of the year perfecting the balance between effective working and robust security.
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3. BUILDING DEFENCES AGAINST ECONOMIC TUMULT
2023 will be challenging for business expenses and a knock-on effect on technology budgets is likely.
Although some pressure can be strategically eased – such as exploring hybrid cloud infrastructure deployment and opex managed services – online retailers are bracing for a rather large bump.
When we asked online retail IT decision-makers about rising energy costs, 51% said they were concerned about hikes impacting their technology priorities. This figure is the highest of all surveyed sectors – perhaps because of the accumulative energy demand of physical products, shipping and eCommerce infrastructure.
That said, it’s important to remain optimistic. Online retail emerged as a pandemic success story, and there’s every reason to believe that the sector’s agile thinking and mastery of digital solutions will deliver huge benefits once again.
ESSENTIAL ONLINE RETAIL IT PRIORITY STATISTICS FOR 2023
- 50% predict reliance on Managed Service Providers
- 71% have a preference for UK Managed Service Providers
- 74% are satisfied with their budget
- 26% say IT budget does not meet team ambitions
- 39% say IT budget must increase significantly to achieve ambitions
- 38% say IT budget must increase slightly to achieve ambitions
- 27% expect IT budget to increase next year
- 28% cite cybersecurity as the biggest investment driver
- 51% are concerned about rising energy costs
Are these IT priority trends reflected in your online retailer?
Get in touch with a Node4 consultant to discuss scaling your IT priorities for the year ahead. Click below to arrange an initial conversation.