Where have all the RFID customers gone?

Technology resellers and solution providers are poised to add radio frequency identification (RFID) solutions to their portfolios, but their customers have been slow to embrace the technology, according to a survey by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA).

The survey found that 84 percent of technology resellers, solution providers, systems integrators, and consultants will or may offer RFID products and solutions in the next three years. But nearly two-thirds of the companies said their customers have yet to implement RFID solutions. Among channel companies with customers who have implemented RFID, most said that less than 20 percent of their customers are using the technology.

“The results of our survey are reflective of the RFID market, where rosy forecasts about rapid and widespread adoption have given way to the reality of dealing with a technology whose broader deployment has been challenged by equipment and tagging costs, murky and unclear return-on-investment for supply chain applications, and a workforce skills shortage,” said David Sommer, vice president, e-business and software solutions, CompTIA.

Despite the slower-than-expected adoption rate, companies in the IT channel remain bullish on future opportunities in the RFID market, the survey indicates. Among companies that see their organization offering RFID products and services, 89 percent expect to focus their efforts on hardware installation and maintenance. Just over 46 percent said they will offer software implementation services; 38.9 percent will offer other RFID services; and 31.5 percent plan to focus on software development, according to CompTIA. 074335

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