Will you be talking to anyone about RSS today? For those CSCer’s reading this my small contribution is a short webcast with my thoughts …. see my profile page in the wiki. I’ll post it here soon (just didn’t have time to upload it to a videocast site last night).
Information, and more importantly knowledge, and the application of that information and knowledge is the key to enterprises becoming more innovative. We collaborate to innovate, we need knowledge and information to collaborate.
I collaborate based on information I fundamentally know and maybe have read or trained to learn. RSS allows me to focus my reading in terms of subscribing to things that either interest me or are relevant to me. The importance of this information is paramount to me, I need the latest up to date information and I need to be able to read and spot trends to predict strategic outcomes. The one tool that allows me to do that is an RSS reader, I really can control my reading, control the information and update my knowledge as time goes by.
Enterprise RSS offers this benefit firstly to more people, even in the information worker space I know many who don’t use RSS readers, the second benefit is being able to understand information flow within the enterprise in addition to having a further communication channel.
So I hope this balances my last post with my reflection on the information challenge and how RSS helps. Does this make sense or am I rambling? I’ll shut up now as I think I may be moving into ramble mode
How subtle design changes can impact the success of a new product came to me graphically this week with Notes 8. One thing that has concerned me is the screen real estate requirements for the client, especially as I’m an “X” tablet user, as in X’tra small at 1024×768 pixels when just using the tablet.
In Notes 8 with the sidebar opened using a release 7 mail template, a scenario many people will face during an enterprise upgrade (at least for a period of time) the email experience is difficult.
You can see that the subject field is invisible due to the layout in columns of all the individual facets of the email. In fact I got so fed up of this that I stopped design changes getting back to the server and switched to a release 8 design locally. Bingo …
…someone at IBM must have really thought about this issue. I wonder what the advice is in the interim while the client rollout is happening, the recommendations IBM could make to customers who can’t upgrade the mail template design till the last users client is upgraded to release 8 (and we all know how painful it is to get updates to mobile and remote workers at times!). I’m sure some basic recommendations can be made, perhaps a release 7 “sidebar friendly” template.
So I’m doing my best to promote the enterprise RSS day but one thing niggles me. I haven’t seen people beating my door down to architect enterprise RSS capability over the last 12 months. Why could that be? I have a few theories:
People don’t get it?
I do regularly talk to IT folks from both within CSC and our customers and of those folks you find a huge dipole of opinion in terms of understanding what RSS is and its uses. From folks who say “R S what”, to folks who understand what it is when you talk about subscription, to folks who really understand (even better than I) the value of RSS as a medium to communicate and integrate both content for human consumption and content for application consumption and integration. The question here (for later in the post) is how do we help people get it? Most of you reading this “get RSS” as most people read this blog through subscription. So my questions to challenge and find opinion from you would be:
Is RSS anywhere near the top of the enterprise collaboration agendas?
I don’t feel it is. This has to come down to a combination of business requirements, return on investment and potentially marketing. In global terms the enterprise RSS vendors are still small players compared to the titans and even the titans struggle to get their messages heard at times. Its also not raised high on the agendas as only a niche portion of the user base are utilise RSS today, and for those folks the CIO just sees the RSS reader filling the gap.
Folks are waiting for “enterprise RSS” to move into the realm of the email service?
I do think there is a case for combining the delivery capabilities within email services and consumption services within email client technology to properly address the RSS need for information workers. I feel none of the titans have done their client RSS implementations any justice to date. I don’t feel this is what is holding up adoption though, I do feel the key to this is raising the profile and highlighting the quantifiable benefits and better expressing the value of the solutions.
How can IT help folks “get it”?
I feel the only way to succeed here will be small scale pilots within distinct business units with a heavy communication bias. Sales teams, marketing teams, not us boring old IT folks. I hope the enterprise RSS day can switch a few more people on to the potential that enterprise RSS has to offer.