RSS (really simple syndication) is a favored XML format for individuals to get information from sources such as news sites and blogs. In fact, a recent Pew Internet Foundation survey found nearly one in three individuals consumes RSS feeds. But for enterprises, the most telling response was that 63 percent of these RSS users subscribe to work-related feeds.
That latter finding shouldnt surprise IT managers. After all, RSS readers are easy to install and use. This technology does a fine job helping workers cut through irrelevant information that floods portals, enterprise search results, and e-mail. But as RSSs popularity rises, so do risks. For example, precious network bandwidth is consumed when many employees update the same feed. Plus, there are security risks associated with accessing inappropriate feeds.
To get around these issues and give more employees the benefit of RSS, organizations are adopting enterprise RSS solutions. I tested three hot products in this burgeoning area: Attensa Feed Server, NewsGator Enterprise Server, and KnowNow 3 Enterprise Syndication Solution.