Thursday 20 November 2008

Introducing RSS to your Organisation - The Business Case

As part of my current MSc in Operations and Technology Management, we are undertaking a module in Technology Management. One of the current assignments I am researching is the investigation of how RSS (Really Simple Syndication) can be used as a new information channel for those areas of your organisation whose product is knowledge/information.

The examples I am looking at in relation to financial services are the press office and research units which produce press releases, market commentary, financial outlooks and other research material. I want to understand the relationship between these departments and their prospective customers (investors, journalists and the wider customer audience).

The first hurdle to overcome is the language used to introduce and explain RSS technology to the primarily business users who work in these areas. I presume it is unlikely that they will fully understand RSS, let alone know what it is (I am basing this on a statistic from my first dissertation in knowledge management where out of 101 people surveyed in a large financial services organisation, only 24 had heard of RSS - approx 24%).

I am a big fan of the Common Craft Show and their suite of videos which explain technology concepts in "Plain English". Their video "RSS in Plain English" is a good place to start:

I have also begun looking at existing financial services organisations who are using RSS to deliver updates to their prospective customers. Here is a sample set of RSS listings:

Northern Trust Corporation
ING Wholsale Banking
UBS Investment Research

Royal Bank of Scotland
Bank of America

I will update how I get on here again, but my thinking is that if I was a journalist, I would appreciate automated feeds instead of having to visit each site every day to keep up-to-date with what is happening. Hopefully I can pitch RSS as a valuable, inexpensive tool which can enhance the offerings of the press office / research unit in the pilot organisation.

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