Progress on RFID could be severely hampered by skills shortages, according to a survey conducted by the Computing Technology Industry Association.
While thousands of food suppliers were facing RFID mandates from Metro and Wal-Mart and were expecting Tesco to follow suit shortly, the dearth of qualified IT experts able to provide expert advice and systems integration could significantly slow the adoption of the technology, warned CompTIA public relations manager Steven Ostrowski.
He said: "There are only between 10 and 100 systems integrators skilled in RFID implementations. But we believe the market needs 500-1,000 systems integration companies with RFID capabilities and hundreds of thousands of individuals knowledgeable in this technology to meet current and future demand."
However, work was progressing on developing a professional certification of RFID skills that should be available in late 2005 or early 2006, he said.
"Some time in mid to late April, we will hold the first committee meeting to get down to the real work of crafting the certification."
While this would initially focus on the radio technology skills necessary to implement RFID solutions, it would also cover knowledge of tag requirements, air protocols, standards, hardware installation, and how interference can affect readability, he said.