Outdated IT systems hampering modernisation in retail

Over half of retailers are finding attempts to modernise being restricted by out-dated IT systems, a survey by Boomi, a Dell Technologies business, has found. The findings come amidst the Covid-19 pandemic in which shops are especially reliant on eCommerce activity, with many struggling to keep up with current levels of demand.

Within the 'ERP Innovator’s Dilemma survey', which encompassed 825 businesses from different sectors in the EMEA region, 53% of retailers stated that complex hybrid IT environments were limiting their ability to modernise. Additionally, 44% said modernisation attempts were hampered by changing business requirements.

There is a growing realisation across retail that Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems require updating. ERP is a series of software tools used to control the eCommerce process, including supply chains and order deliveries. Online sellers are often relying on outdated systems, making it much harder to cope with the unprecedented levels of demand that parts of the industry are facing as a result of Covid-19. Currently, there is a major backlog for online deliveries.

As a result, many retailers are taking steps to modernise their ERP systems; applications are set to be overwhelmingly in the cloud in 12 months’ time, with 62% purely cloud-based compared to just 9% at the moment. In the survey, 59% of retailers cited improving business efficiency as the primary reason for moving ERP to the cloud.

Derek Thompson, VP of EMEA Boomi, commented: “IT leaders can be rightly proud of the clear actions they are taking to further innovation, while at the same time driving down spend on decades-old technologies, and it is encouraging to see the marked increase in investment towards application modernisation and digitally driven business innovation.”

The survey also revealed that lack of internal communication is a major factor in ERP projects failing in retail, as stated by 75% of respondents from the sector.

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