The rise of near-field communications (NFC) has been part of the discussion in the mobile industry for years. Unfortunately, the technology hasn't generated much more than discussion to this point.

So far, all who have predicted the ubiquity of the point-to-point communications technology have been wrong. Executives at major tech companies - Apple and eBay, for example - have scoffed at the idea of NFC as an everyday tool, and consumers in general still have no idea what it is.

Regardless, the technology provides ample opportunity for businesses, and is still expected to make a slow climb to relevance over the next few years. With separate factors helping to drive growth of the technology into new markets, it's time to consider how NFC can help in the enterprise.