With over 600 participants attending last month’s RFID conference, organized by GS1 Hong Kong (formerly known as the HKANA) and EPCglobal Hong Kong, these tiny ID chips seem to have hit the radar of many local IT managers.
While enterprises are studying the technical viability and ROI potential of RFID, experts at the conference noted the IT environment needs to prepare and evaluate proactively to ensure successful implementations.
One of the major benefits of RFID is the creation of entire new realms of data. Yet these data floods are useless unless they provide insight into good business decisions, said Christopher Short, director of Microsoft Technology Center (the Taiwan-based technology center focuses on the RFID development within Microsoft).
“To bring meaning to the data, the company will need BI applications,” said Short. “Does the company already have them? If so, how well is the company using BI to make business decisions? There are the questions.” Don’t wait until prices go down to start your study on RFID. It takes a considerable amount of time to get through the learning curve of the technology and complete the study. Tim Wilkinson>Text Short said that application architecture needs to be made RFID-ready by applying Web services, which create a single common interface for applications to talk with each other and can also significantly reduce the complexity-level of RFID implementations. When the tracking technology is installed, the new application can easily reuse the common interface to talk with different back-end systems to create new business services.
Since the pricey tags and readers remains a concern for most companies, many are taking it slow on RFID adoption. But Tim Wilkinson, managing principal of CIM & RFID solutions practice at HP, suggested companies should not wait.
“Don’t wait until prices go down to start your study on RFID,” he said. “It takes a considerable amount of time to get through the learning curve of the technology and complete the study. Prices will go down faster than you thought.”