This IDC Retail Insights report presents IT budget benchmark data for the retail industry. The IDC Retail Insights 2015-2016 Retail Investment Guide provides an analysis of the IT budget strategy for 2016 and an analysis of where retailers have been allocating their IT spend as well as where they intend to focus their budget. In this guide, IDC Retail Insights reports that the total external IT spending in the retail industry will exceed $100 billion in 2016, up 4% from $96.8 billion in 2015, which was up 3.6% from $93.5 billion in 2014. The omni-channel imperative is driving continued investment in technology by the retail industry. A digital transformation will be an increasingly important enabler of omni-channel commerce, leading to strategic technology investments in infrastructure, mobility, cloud, ecommerce, supply chain, and a number of new and emerging technologies across all phases of the customer journey."The retail industry is at a very exciting stage right now, facing the challenges of rising customer digital capabilities and expectations, heightened industry competition, and a rich array of new and emerging technologies from the vendor community," said Robert Eastman, research manager, Retail Omni-Channel IT Strategies. "As retailers take on the digital transformation to fuel their omni-channel strategies and to offer differentiating customer experiences, they have some difficult choices and decisions to make. While there are a number of very interesting new technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) that are coming to the retail industry, in the near term, retailers are allocating more IT spend on ecommerce platforms, point-of-sale (POS) systems, mobile commerce systems, and merchandise management to better engage and deliver to the customer."