RFID Talent Pool in Need of Filling, Survey Finds

80 percent of companies see shortage of RFID talent to implement, service and support technology, CompTIA reports

80 percent of companies see shortage of RFID talent to implement, service and support technology, CompTIA reports

Oakbrook Terrace, IL  March 2, 2005  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).

In the survey, 80 percent of participating companies said they do not believe there are sufficient numbers of professionals skilled in RFID to hire from today. Two-thirds of organizations (66.7 percent) 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, vice president for electronic commerce at CompTIA.

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

Addressing the Talent Shortage

CompTIA said it is working with a cross section of players in the RFID market to address the skills shortage. Product manufacturers, distributors, system integrators, education and training providers, as well as end-user customers are active in an effort to craft a vendor-neutral professional certification of RFID skills for individuals working with the technology.

The survey of CompTIA members found that customer adoption of RFID solutions is relatively modest. A significant number of companies  71.4 percent  said their customers have not implemented RFID solutions. For those organizations with customers that implemented RFID solutions, responding companies said that fewer than 20 percent of their customers have done so.

Similarly, 80 percent 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 percent have implemented one or more RFID pilot projects for themselves or their customers.

Looking for Customer Interest

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

When asked if they see their company offering RFID products and services in the next three years, 37.3 percent of organizations said they definitely will, while 39.2 percent said they would consider it if there is interest from their customers. Companies expect to offer hardware installation and maintenance services (82.1 percent), software implementations (61.5 percent) and other services (51.3).

The majority of respondents to the CompTIA survey were value-added resellers and solutions providers (33.3 percent); consultants and systems integrators (21.6 percent); and manufactures (19.6 percent). Two-thirds of the companies have annual revenues of up to $25 million; while 22 percent are companies with annual revenues of $100 million or more.

CompTIA is a global trade association representing the business interests of the information technology industry. The organization has 20,000 members in 102 countries and is involved in developing standards and best practices.

Additional Articles of Interest

One chief procurement officer sees a looming talent shortage hitting the purchasing field. Read more in "An Interview with Patricia Moser: Selling Transformation," the Interview column in the June/July 2004 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive

Impending Baby Boomer retirements, a widening skills gap driven by declining educational standards, and outdated and ineffective approaches to talent management are combining forces to produce a "perfect storm" that threatens the global business economy, according to new research from Deloitte. Read the SDCExec.com article here.

More research from the Computing Technology Industry Association:

For more information on trends relating to radio frequency identification, follow this link for an extensive listing of SDCExec.com articles, featuring the latest research findings on the RFID, including adoption, return on investment and barriers to implementation.

For a contrary view of the future of the RFID market, see the article "The O'RFID Factor: A 'No Spin' Look at Where Radio Frequency Identification Is Headed," in the October/November 2004 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.