Radio frequency identification technology isn't just for tagging items in the supply chain any more, according to a new survey.

The ABI Research survey was conducted between April and June, and involved 175 companies, some of which weren't using RFID at the time.

Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, is famously using RFID to improve logistics and supply chain management operations between suppliers and stores. Similarly, the US Department of Defense has been mandating that suppliers use RFID to tag their goods.

However, according to ABI Research, the supply chain isn't the only area in which companies are using RFID. The technology is also being applied to asset management, security access control and specialised inventory management, said Michael Liard, an analyst at ABI.

Even though companies are investigating RFID for other uses, Liard stressed that the major driver behind adoption remains compliance with the Wal-Mart and DoD mandates. The largest growth area for RFID will continue to be applications that track pallets and cases, he said.

Despite that expected growth, some of the respondents offered explanations about why they aren't deploying RFID, saying that it has limited relevance to their operations. They also cited concerns about getting a return on investment and said they remain uncertain about RFID's benefits.

Based on the survey results, Liard offered the following advice via an emailed statement: "For companies on the fence with RFID, I would recommend approaching RFID with cautious optimism. Current and potential end users must remember that when it comes to RFID, it needs to be more about the application and how the technology can be leveraged to address critical pain points in an enterprise."