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RFID Skills Improving But Deployment Slows, Study Finds

Among those who believe there is a shortage of RFID skills, 68% said the shortage would impact adoption, CompTIA found.
Businesses are not adopting RFID as fast as industry observers had predicted, and that may be because of a lack of skilled labor, a recent study found.

The Computing Technology Industry Association announced Wednesday that its third annual RFID survey found that 68.8% of respondents think the industry is lacking RFID talent. The percentage is down from 2006 and 2007 (75% and 80%, respectively), but CompTIA representatives said it's still significant.

Among those who believe there is a shortage of RFID skills, 68% said the shortage would impact adoption. In 2006, 80% believed that was the case. In 2005, only 53% believed lack of skills would affect adoption.

"The skills shortage is not the most significant factor in the relatively slow adoption of RFID, but it is a contributing factor," David Sommer, VP of e-business and software solutions at CompTIA, said in a prepared statement. "Had RFID adoption taken hold at a higher level, the skills shortage would be even more pronounced."

CompTIA leaders believe that a lack of standards, high equipment costs, and low or uncertain return on investment have also contributed to slower-than-expected RFID adoption.

The findings resulted from a Web-based survey earlier this year. The survey drew responses from 64 technology resellers, value-added resellers, solution providers, systems integrators, and others directly involved in the delivery of IT products and services.

Sommer said that RIFD continues to grow at a modest, steady pace, with pilot programs, tests, and closed-loop deployments rising.

CompTIA offers a vendor-neutral RFID credential. It validates knowledge and skills in RFID installation, maintenance, repair, as well as maintenance of related hardware and software.