One aspect of Enterprise 2.0 is the ability to monitor, discover and share content from a variety of sources.
We don't have a lot of "glue" to enable this from the user perspective - basically you can search (Google or enterprise search) or follow (email, Twitter, Facebook, Yammer, RSS).
There is a line that breaks this approach, which is the line (actually usually multiple layers of firewalls and policies) between the intranet and the Internet. In general, many of the rapidly evolving, inexpensive tools for web and mobile "live" on the Internet - they can't see intranet content. Which means you can't get a search alert about your internal blog, nor can you follow your internal blog's RSS feed on Google Reader, or on Reeder on your external-network iPhone, or on an external-network Blackberry RSS feed reader.
The stiles that will get you over the intranet fence are pretty limited: email or authenticated RSS (if there are other options, I'd be interested to know). So there are basically three options:
* have two completely separate working environments, one with Internet tools for public content, and one with intranet tools for internal content
* open access so that Internet tools can receive internal content, whether by allowing emails of content e.g. from internal blogs or (preferably) allowing authenticated RSS
* provide an internal feed reader service (website) which can see both internal and external feeds, allow it to be used through e.g. user/pass login from outside the intranet
Unfortunately, this usually breaks down in multiple ways:
1) Internal environments often have multiple levels of silos, rather than a single unified intranet. This means authentication challenges (simply being within an organisation may not provide the credentials needed to access a particular departmental feed) as well as policy challenges, as different sub-organisations may have different access policies.
2) The internal environment often lacks a notification strategy (e.g. a policy that all sites should provide RSS), as well as lacking tools and training for internal monitoring of RSS (desktop apps, Outlook, browser plugins etc.) Let alone a set of OPML lists of organisations feeds, or activity aggregators like FriendFeed can do externally, or PlanetPlanet can do internally. Even when the tool itself has support for RSS (e.g. Outlook) organisations often are running very old versions of the tool, before full RSS support was implemented.
3) Often organisations choose monolithic all-in-one integrated "collaboration suites" rather than many pieces loosely joined using e.g. RSS and JSON. Visibility into these integrated sites from outside apps or web tools is often limited.
4) Authenticated RSS is very weakly supported (including not being supported at all in Google Reader)
5) Mobile devices are often on external networks and come with only basic tools and support (email reader and web browser) rather than pre-installed RSS readers.
I don't actually know how to solve this problem. One approach is to gateway everything to email, but that just turns everything into a mailing list, and I hate mailing lists. Plus which most organisations don't want their internal content flowing out unauthenticated over email.
The short term solution would seem to be to educate organisations about RSS, ensure their internal services provide RSS, and make sure their desktop, mobile and remote (e.g. home VPN) users have RSS readers AND access to internal RSS. (There are other notification infrastructures e.g. XMPP, but these are not as widespread as RSS, although they could always be supported by gatewaying/converting from RSS.) You can also consider, rather than providing desktop & mobile clients, providing an internal RSS reader server website, that users can log into from inside and outside the network.
The long term solution I think is for organisations to both think clearly about how much of their content absolutely must sit hidden from public view in the intranet, and to provide widespread RSS authentication support so that users are able to access their work feeds from familiar web and mobile environments.
On a related note, similar issues apply to enterprise search, where you usually need a separate internal search portal in order to discover all internal content, and you have the same issues when e.g. you need to discover enterprise content when you're on your external-network iPhone.
I have focused on integration between systems as done by users reading and searching, but there is of course a similar issue about machine-to-machine integration both internal-internal and external-internal. We have a bit more mature infrastructure there though, e.g. providing JSON and Web Services. But it still requires an organisation that understands that its internal services should provide APIs.
Does your organisation have this issue? How to do you manage alerting on internal content? Do you provide internal RSS tools? How are you handling internal search?
Jon Udell blogged about this issue in 2007, and the comments on his Authenticated RSS feeds post provide useful additional information.