Gamification will be used for innovation by 50% of companies and will become as important as Facebook for customer retention, Gartner predicts.
The analyst forecasts that 50% of companies involved in innovation and new product development (NPD) will ‘gamify’ those processes by 2015. Furthermore, by 2014, it believes a gamified service for consumer goods marketing and customer retention will become as important as Facebook, eBay or Amazon, and more than 70% of the world’s biggest organisations will have at least one gamified application.
Enterprise architects, CIOs and IT planners must be aware of, and lead, the business trend of gamification, as well as educate their business counterparts on evaluating opportunities within the organisation, Gartner analyst Brian Burke says.
“Where games traditionally model the real world, organisations must now take the opportunity for their real world to emulate games,” Burke says. “Enterprise architects must be ready to contribute to gamification strategy formulation and should try at least one gaming exercise as part of their enterprise context planning efforts this year.”
Gamification describes the broad trend of employing game mechanics to non-game environments, such as innovation, marketing, training, employee performance, health and social change, to achieve higher levels of engagement, change behaviours and stimulate innovation.
Gartner identifies four principal means of driving engagement using gamification:
1. Accelerated feedback cycles: Gamification increases the velocity of feedback loops, such as annual performance reviews, to maintain engagement over time.
2. Clear goals and rules of play: Gamification provides clear goals and well-defined rules of play to ensure players feel empowered to achieve goals.
3. A compelling narrative: While real-world activities are rarely compelling, gamification builds a narrative that engages players to participate and achieve the goals of the activity.
4. Tasks that are challenging but achievable: Gamification provides short-term, achievable goals to maintain engagement while seeking to fulfil more long-term goals.
Gamification’s is not just useful in the private sector however, with its use for social change highlighted as a key strength. Gartner gives the example of a game created by the UK’s Department for Work and Pensions to decentralise innovation and generate ideas from its 120,000 people across the organization. Dubbbed ‘Idea Street’ the social collaboration platform generated 1400 ideas, 63 of which had gone forward to implementation.
The US military also used gamification, creating America’s Army – a video-game recruiting tool.