RFID Talent Pool Shallow

Mar 1, 2005

Allen Bernard

The talent pool of individuals skilled in radio frequency identification (RFID) is shallow and could impact the successful adoption of the technology, according to the results of a new survey released today by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA).

Eighty-percent of companies participating in the survey said they do not believe there are sufficient numbers of professionals skilled in RFID to hire from today. Two-thirds of organizations (67%) said training and educating their employees in the technology is one of the biggest challenges they will face in order to succeed in the RFID market.

"We believe the market needs hundreds of systems integration companies with RFID capabilities; and hundreds of thousands of individuals knowledgeable in this technology to meet current and future demand," said David Sommer, CompTIA's vice president of Electronic Commerce.

Sommer presented the findings of the CompTIA survey in a presentation today at the RFID World 2005 conference in Dallas.

To address the shortage, CompTIA is working with a cross section of major players in the RFID market in an effort to craft a vendor-neutral professional certification of RFID skills for individuals working with the technology.

However, the shortage of talent is not yet acute since the survey of CompTIA members found that customer adoption of RFID solutions is relatively modest. A significant number of companies (71%) said their customers have not implemented RFID solutions.

For those organizations with customers that implemented RFID solutions, responding companies said that fewer than 20% of their customers have done so.

Similarly, 80% of the responding companies said either they have yet to go past the investigation stage of RFID implementation or have done no investigation at all. Just 16% have implemented one or more RFID pilot projects internally or for customers.

Survey respondents said their customers come from a variety of industries, including services, government, manufacturing, retail, health care, communications, and financial services and real estate.

When asked if they see their company offering RFID products and services in the next three years, 37% of organizations said they definitely will, and 39% said they would consider it if there is interest from their customers.

The majority of respondents to the CompTIA survey were value-added resellers and solutions providers (33%); consultants and systems integrators (21%); and manufactures (19%). Two-thirds of the companies have annual revenues of up to $25 million, while 22% are companies with annual revenues of $100 million or more.


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