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Aberdeen on Scaling RFID from Pilot to Production
Research firm Aberdeen Group this week released the second in a series of reports on RFID adoption. Entitled , the report is available free. In this guest contribution, report author John Fontanella summarizes the key findings and recommendations for action.
Jun 29, 2006—This article was originally published by RFID Update.
June 29, 2006—The challenges of implementing RFID are only just starting to be recognized. Companies working under customer mandates are seeing increased demands for RFID tagged cases. Others are using the technology to raise the level of performance in areas such as asset management and tracking, counterfeit detection, security and supply chain visibility. Enterprises are planning to implement RFID on a broad scale, and with this comes the inevitable question of how to integrate technology and information at the "edge" with the rest of the enterprise.
Through a survey of companies across multiple industries, the Aberdeen Group report The RFID Benchmark Series: Scaling RFID Implementations from Pilot to Production released this week examines how organizations will expand the scope of their RFID deployments to take advantage of the unique value that RFID promises to deliver. While most of the attention is currently fixed on managing around the obstacles that the laws of physics present at a shipping dock or manufacturing line, more difficult challenges will arise when RFID moves out of pilot stage and is deployed across the enterprise.
Implications & Analysis
Survey respondents foresee significant expansion of RFID deployments over the next five years. Almost 50 percent of companies say they will have anywhere from two to ten RFID-enabled sites (facilities separated geographically with their own local area networks) by 2008. That number is predicted to grow to between 20 and 100 sites by the year 2011. Companies now are focusing on building in the reliability, security, and administrative practices that are required to roll out RFID on such a large scale.
Survey respondents indicate that while strengthening the technical infrastructure on which RFID sits is a critical element of wide-scale deployment, other considerations must be incorporated into the overall plan. Implementation strategies must account for the differences in processes and workflows, even within the same function, that are found in different locations and operational groups. Companies will be challenged to manage, analyze, and distribute the large streams of data that will inevitably come from broad RFID deployments. The implications are many for corporate strategies driving network design, enterprise application integration, and business intelligence.
While the report focuses on wide-scale RFID deployment, its findings are just as relevant to the adoption of other "edge" technologies ranging from mobile devices to sensor technologies. Capturing their true value is dependent not only on how widely they are used, but how well the enterprise can incorporate and operationalize the data they capture.
Recommendations for Action
Deploying RFID across the enterprise presents new challenges but also opens up new opportunities. The most aggressive adopters of RFID recognize that its deployment across an entire enterprise requires a thorough examination of the implications to both technology and process within the enterprise. The following are recommendations for action based on report findings:
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