One in four Western European retailers is willing to invest in a single information model for their entire enterprise, despite the high priority of reducing IT costs, according to a report from IDC Retail Insights.

They are willing to spend money on integrating all their IT systems and applications to create a single modeI. IT modernisation programmes will encompass infrastructure and back-office systems, as well as front-end applications such as multichannel platforms.

In addition, retailers will make investments in strategic applications to improve their competitiveness, according to IDC Retail Insights EMEA research director Ivano Ortis.

Ortis said:”20 to 25 percent of retailers will drive legacy migration, IT integration projects, and new investments in strategic customer-centric applications. Our recent survey results also show that IT investment directions will vary significantly by country and enterprise size class, with large retailers clearly driving short-term investments.”

Particular areas of investment will include CRM, ERP, content management systems and collaborative technologies.

Ortis added that reducing IT costs “ranks high” in the current retail IT agenda, with this being a major issue for small organisations across Western Europe and for retailers in the UK.

Concerns over customer privacy data and payment security are also significant, and development in related areas could accelerate, such as increased PCI compliance. Green IT and environmental sustainability are lower priorities, with only 1 per cent of Western European retailers focusing on these projects.

The IDC retail insights European survey was carried out in April 2009 in the top five Western European countries among 253 retail companies.