Feeds

Managing the RFID opportunity

Don't let hype overshadow risk

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The use of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags is becoming a hot topic for developers and business (visit the independent - sponsored by both the UK Government and commercial organisations - UK RFID Centre here).

IT vendors, who've been suffering fairly flat sales recently, are also honing in on the opportunites it presents.

At the same time, the sort of manager who couldn't see the point of bar-coding is determined not to miss the boat this time - if you can locate everything in your factory in real time and at a distance, surely the opportunities for managing your organisation, and controlling the people in it, are revolutionary?

There is no question that RFID is the next big thing, although as Terry McIntyre, TNT Logistics RFID project leader in North America, says, bar-coding's reign is far from over and will be around in hybrid bar-coding/RFID applications for some time.

McIntyre is responsible for an operational RFID project for TNT Logistics, which delivers real-time visibility and synchronised assembly processes to automotive manufacturers using TIBCO's RFID technologies, among others. And his insight into the issues raised by RFID technology are worth considering.

The good news

Often, as McIntyre points out, the enabling technology for an RFID project is already available, for (almost) nothing. Much of the wireless RFID infrastructure McIntyre exploits has already paid for itself in keeping track of large and valuable assets: "We're helping Ford leverage its IT infrastructure for other things," he explains, extending it to provide the infrastructure for complete supply-chain transparency.

He says the choice of partner in such initiatives is important - partners should have sufficient experience and sufficiently robust technology to form a basis for extended RFID deployment. Nevertheless, you should probably aim to pay for the technology with the returns from the first project, not from anticipated future benefits.

The RFID vision is, in essence, complete knowledge of the spatial location (and state) of objects of interest throughout the business process, without the need for error-prone and expensive manual data entry. Initially, however, the most common use will probably be to increase supply-chain transparency.

However, there are real issues if you are to make this vision come true.

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
Why has the web gone to hell? Market chaos and HUMAN NATURE
Tim Berners-Lee isn't happy, but we should be
Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store
DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! Naughty, misleading developers!
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.