RFID Deluge - InformationWeek

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Software // Information Management
07:42 PM
Ted Kemp
Ted Kemp

RFID Deluge

Companies that plan to track their physical assets using RFID tags can successfully navigate the technology's treacherous waters -- if they're smart.

Your typical, enterprise-level business intelligence guru doesn't run a help desk. But maybe he or she did once upon a time. Or maybe those in small organizations find themselves forced to lend a hand to the firefighter side of the IT shop every now and then.

So chances are, you've got some good stories. As we enter the final week of our Great Tech Call-'Em-Like-You-See-'Em Contest, we're asking you to share your worst, er, I mean … your best stories about helpless users. Even if you don't plan to enter, you ought to check out some of our favorite help desk legends: HIGH-larious, friends. My favorite is blatant toilet humor, so I'm going to skip writing about it here. But you can read it here. Every IT pro, it seems, has one or two tales about the great, often overwhelmed end user masses.

Speaking of being overwhelmed, that might be what your entire IT organization can count on if it plans to implement radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, as we explore this week on the Pipeline. And it won't be data tag-management that drowns many companies' technological and personnel assets. It'll be the data. Mountains of it.

But never fear. Companies that plan to track their physical assets using RFID tags can successfully navigate the technology's treacherous waters -- if they're smart. George Spohrer, an exec with consulting firm Crowe Chizek and Co., takes us this week through a series of specific ideas that firms should consider before tackling RFID data management.

Sure, hardware and tags are important to RFID deployments -- and Spohrer addresses those issues. But then he goes into detail on RFID data management, and the questions companies should ask themselves if they hope to eventually take that raw -- and voluminous -- data and turn it into intelligence.

At this point, we are of course still in the very early stages of RFID. Ideas about how RFID will eventually intertwine with real analytics are entirely speculative. But eventually -- say, in maybe three or four years -- somebody's going to want to know what all that supply chain data means. That's where business intelligence will come into play.

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