But that's not news to retail IT execs, who have come to see huge backlogs as a way of life. A time-revered IT tradition, if you will. The report, however, argues that the battle between system maintenance/security patches—which always get top priority—and the creation of new capabilities that the business needs should be thought of in different terms. Some are opting for outsourcing more, which would allow them to reallocate resources to accelerate new capabilities. "There's been this shift where business has been taking more of the direction of IT investments," said RSR's Nikki Baird. "It should no longer be about 'either/or.'"
A new Retail Systems Research report is challenging the way retail IT looks at application development backlogs. The report is based on a survey showing that some 79 percent of retailers have app dev backlogs of at least a year, with one-fifth of those hitting delays of more than two years.