Three Key Benefits of Enterprise RSS For Any CXO

Why don’t CXO’s take advantage of the best productivity tool available today? Are they ignorant, or are we just not speaking their language?

Forrester Research has just released a report on Enterprise RSS, and has struck a chord that many are acknowledging – we’re drowning in data. Thanks to Richard McManus of Read/Write Web; we-who-don’t-have-subscriptions get a glimpse into the findings:

Richard posted: “I think we all know about the issue of information overload – and the resulting value of good filters and smart aggregators. In some ways the problem is worse for enterprise employees – because as well as external news sources, they have potentially hundreds of internal RSS feeds to track via company blogs and wikis.”

Forrester: “Enterprise RSS turbo-charges the benefits of unmanaged RSS adoption with internal content syndication, filtering, and collaboration. It also provides increased security and reduces IT requirements.”

I think the problem with “this whole RSS thing” is that we don’t explain very well what it is or what it can do for a typical enterprise. They’re not ignorant, we just don’t explain things very well…

So here are my top three benefits of RSS for business executives to note:

1. The power of all being on the same page. I use Basecamp (a project management system) with several clients, and am automatically notified via RSS when anything is updated on any project. Notifications automatically go to Outlook – which then go to my Blackberry.

Every team member automatically knows the status of a project because we subscribe to changes/updates – no matter where we are in the world.

Any executive can get those same notifications and alerts – they’ll have access to key information “just in time” rather than waiting for team updates.

2. The right people have the right information at the right time. Let’s break this one down:

  • The right people – I have a client who’s the CEO of a company. His IT staff forgot to add him to one of the email groups in his organization – so he never got email notices sent to that particular group (which happened to be an all-company email list).

    This kind of thing happens in organizations every day. I can’t even imagine how much time IT folks spend keeping email groups up to date. With Enterprise RSS; Stephen would have the choice and control to subscribe to any feed that interested him.

  • The right information – Scott at Attensa tracks their marketplace using their platform. He posts information on an internal Wiki when he finds something substantive to note about a competitor, mergers in the market, what not. Anyone in the organization who needs market information (R&D / product management / finance) can opt into Scott’s marketplace news feed and have the information delivered to them without having to search for it on their own. Suddenly you’re leveraging the intelligence of others in your work.
  • The right time – information is delivered as it appears online. Imagine you’re a PR professional, needing to know when your product or service is mentioned anywhere online. Better than plain old Google alerts; Attensa lets you know instantly when anyone categorizes (tags) a blog post or mention with your keywords on Technorati.
  • 3. The business retains the knowledge when key employees leave. A business partner of mine says that every time an employee leaves their organization, it costs the company about $150,000 to recruit, hire and train a new employee.

    Imagine being able to retain and pass along the key observations, news and subscriptions (often the nuances of knowledge that are impossible to teach) of the person who’s left the company and passing it along to the new hire via their persistent searches, feed subscriptions and such. My bet is that training and ramp up time would be cut significantly through this efficient automatic knowledge transfer.