Should Gaming Be Part of Your IT Strategy?
Every now and again, one of the major research firms publishes a piece of research that really makes us stop and pay attention. Recently, Gartner published one of those, called Gamification 2020: What Is the Future of Gamification?
Gamification, Gartner says, is a significant trend driving enterprise innovation, as well as customer and employee engagement. If you haven’t run into the term before, gamification is the use of game mechanics in non-entertainment environments to motivate a change in user behavior.
The Gartner report says that by 2015, 40% of Global 1000 organizations will use gamification as the primary mechanism to transform business operations. Will your organization be one of them?
Gamification in Enterprise Technology Solutions
We’ve been following the gamification trend for several years now, and agree with Gartner that it can play a key role in innovation management. How? One of the most obvious ways is by engaging an internal or external audience and leveraging the collective intelligence of that audience to solicit ideas, develop those ideas and predict success using prediction market mechanisms.
Yes, that’s a fancy way of saying that crowdsourcing can lead you to innovation in IT services, application development, policy management, and product development as well as many other areas of business management. Still, Gartner analyst Brian Burk admits, “80 percent of current gamified applications will fail to meet business requirements.”
The problem is that gamification poses a challenge for IT staffing. It requires a specific set of skills and a knowledge base that aren’t common among developers new to the concept. The truth is that gamification is more than just a technology; it’s a new way to define and solve problems.
InfoVision’s Gamification Strategy
When a client approaches InfoVision about gamification, we start by focusing on the problem that needs to be solved. Sure, we can provide the IT staffing resources needed for a gamification problem, including experienced and talented games designers and developers.
We don’t believe in playing games with our client’s application development. Before a single line of code is written, it’s important to carefully define what problem needs to be solved, and understand the current attitudes and behaviors of the human beings who will use the application.
This is especially true in gamification because successful gamification projects require an understanding of end user psychology. It’s not simply an enterprise application that has a series of badges, points, or games on top of an existing process or application.
The goal, after all, of most enterprise IT gamification projects is to use technology to change behavior and outcomes through monetary or non-monetary incentives in enterprise training or employee evaluation projects. It’s part of the continuing evolution of the user experience and consumerization of IT trends that have changed the way enterprise IT departments approach the delivery of technology services.
InfoVision has developed a process that allows enterprise gamification projects to succeed by linking the application development process directly to management’s behavioral expectations. By building in the measurement criteria by which the project will be judged at every stage of the application development process, we help clients deliver projects that closely mirror human behavior. This makes it easier to monitor and measure the outcome, and insure project success.