What NOT to look out for in 2009

2009's smartphone market won't be dominated solely by RIM and Apple, research firm claims.

RFID investments won't stop in 2009, according to ABI Research. RFID technology can have a good effect on a business' bottom line, particularly in uncertain economic times, the report continued.

"One of the key advantages of RFID is the increased visibility that it provides in a supply chain environment, which can certainly help improve operational efficiencies and provide some significant value proposition," Michael Liard, research director for RFID & contactless with ABI Research, told ComputerWorld Canada.

And, a little investment in RFID can go a long way, said Liard, because the technology is "really keen on solving some of those core business challenges and providing actionable information through the RFID data that is collected."

Retail supply chains will certainly benefit from keeping shelves stocked using RFID considering businesses will be fighting for that consumer dollar, however, other segments like manufacturing, aerospace and defense, cargo tracking and security will also benefit from the technology.

Awareness of RFID and its benefits, said Liard, is at its highest and "continues to climb." Moreover, RFID standards are where they need to be, and price points are at a comfortable level such that enterprises won't shy away from it. "Now, it's about the use case and business value of RFID," he said.

The challenge, however, is that supply chain communities are "hyper-competitive," said Liard, and typically prefer to keep their return on investment successes "pretty close to the vest." But the industry can engage in creative ways to talk about supply chain success "without disclosing nitty-gritty details of certain ROI scenarios," he said.

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Kathleen Lau

IDG News Service
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