Look beyond technology to the cultural aspects of gamification

By Adam Holtby

In new research by Ovum, the global analyst firm shows how enterprises and the public sector can effectively apply gamification for maximum advantage, and recommends that organizations should begin exploring gamification for either customer- or employee-facing uses.

Gamification can help enhance customer engagement and manage employee behaviors and productivity levels, but there must be clear understanding of how such an initiative will directly benefit the business. However, to better support business goals, the mapping of the value of desired outcomes will be developed as part of the planning stage.

According to Ovum, social technologies and gamification work well together when points, badges, and leaderboards (PBLs) are tied to a meaningful value system that records status and accomplishments and meets users’ desire for feedback. Applied this way, these tools can help to change behaviours, develop skills, and drive innovation.

However, gamification can also do much more. While much of the early coverage on gamification has focused on guiding behavior and building engagement, increasingly organizations can use the data generated by gamified systems to gain insights into the skills and reputations of both their employees and customers.

In its report, Ovum indicates a good example of gamification in the SAP Community Network (SCN). This network has been designed to encourage members to participate in forums to help other members by sharing knowledge and focusing more on the quality, rather than the quantity, of contributions. Members automatically earn points for posting content, but can be awarded additional points at different levels for the quality of their contributions.

About the author

Adam Holtby is a Software & IT Solutions analyst at Ovum.

Jointly awarded IIAR Global Analyst Firm of the Year 2012, Ovum provides clients with independent and objective analysis that enables them to make better business and technology decisions. Its research draws upon over 400,000 interviews each year with business and technology, telecoms and sourcing decision-makers, giving Ovum and its clients unparalleled insight, not only into business requirements but also the technology that organizations must support. Ovum is an Informa business.

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