IT Channel Ready for RFID, But Customers Not

Solution providers are poised to add radio frequency identification offerings, while end users moving slowly to adopt technology, CompTIA survey reveals

Oakbrook Terrace, IL — June 25, 2007 — 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, a survey by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) reveals.

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 (65.6 percent) 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.

From Rosy to Reality

"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 information technology (IT) channel remain bullish on future opportunities in the RFID market, the CompTIA 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 of companies 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.

The purpose of the study was to understand the IT channel's current and future intentions for addressing RFID opportunities. Respondents included companies directly involved in the delivery of IT products and services. The Web-based survey conducted earlier this year closed with 64 responses.