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April 22, 2013

Ovum says look beyond technology to the cultural aspects of gamification

London – Organizations should keep in mind that
gamification is about more than just the underlying technology, says
Ovum. By also considering the strategic, organizational, cultural, and
psychological aspects of reasonably priced and low-risk gamification
applications, businesses can improve productivity.

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,” says Adam
Holtby, a Software & IT Solutions analyst at Ovum. “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, Holtby believes 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.