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Study: IT Rushing Into RFID Too Quickly

A new Meta Group report says it's leading to confusion in a number of IT organizations.
The rush to embrace RFID is leading to confusion in many IT organizations, according to a new study on the wireless-identification technology.

"Driven by retail market leaders like Wal-Mart and public-sector models such as the U.S. Department of Defense," reports the Meta Group, "many IT organizations are scrambling for budget and guidance to attain working RFID solutions without understanding the technology's actual capabilities and limitations."

RFID has achieved initial success in livestock tracking, highway toll collection, and premium product manufacturing, but more sophisticated applications have often run into difficulties, Meta Group says. Wal-Mart, for instance, has pulled back somewhat from its initial aggressive rollout of the technology. Privacy defenders are protesting RFID, causing many early adopters to slow their implementation. Costs that are higher than anticipated are another factor.

Meta Group's Gene Alvarez recommends that IT organizations start with small RFID projects and then work their way up to more sophisticated--and expensive--approaches. He suggests that small task forces focusing on the implementation of RFID be created in enterprises. In a statement, he adds: "This group should interweave RFID technology with existing IT infrastructure and application portfolios as part of an overall adaptive organization strategy."

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