Gamification Isn't Just For Kids

by Dave Hannon

August 9, 2012

By Dave Hannon

Bunchball? BigDoor? PugPharm? Jive?

You might not know them, but they know you. These are some of the most mature gamification platform vendors and they are staring right at you, Mr. and Mrs. Enterprise.

According to M2 Research, in January 2011, gamification vendors derived roughly 9% of their revenue from the enterprise. This year, it's 38%. And enterprise is the industry's biggest vertical at 25%. Feel the eyes on you now?

Okay, you still don't care about gamification? Well, frankly, you might not care because you might not quite know what is meant by "gamification." I'm not sure I did (okay do), but in a recent Deloitte Review article, I got the clearest definition I've come across yet: "Gamification is a process that applies the thinking and tools of a game designer, such as mechanics, to an existing real business problem or process." (Note they didn't say "IT solution" but "problem or process.")

So the definition is clear. It's not about technology, it's about problem-solving. But you're in IT, You want to know how you can use this. Now we need an example. Hmmm..for the IT crowd, I'll pick...user engagement. Is that a priority of yours? (Waits for nod) Well according to the M2 survey, 47% of clients that hire gamification vendors are looking to increase user engagement.

Need another one? Well the Deloitte Review article points out that "For example, marketing teams use it as a means to attract and retain customers. But organizations are also looking to upgrade community websites, major enterprise software and other systems to include audience engagement elements. A major benefit of this phase is the ability to track and share data."

So it is about technology. And data. And community websites. Like the one you're on right now.

What? You need to make the connection even closer to home? (sighs) Okay. In the Deloitte Review article, Jive Software is cited for its Jive Social Intranet Solution which combines social and gamification features...with productivity applications and traditional intranet capabilities."

Does Jive Software ring a bell to you? Well as SAP's Scott Leatherman pointed out in a recent story in SAPinsider, "Social business provider Jive Software has a long relationship with SAP. Jive is the social business platform powering the SAP HANA developer network called Experience SAP HANA."

So SAP uses Jive. You use SAP. Now you're getting the connection. 

Do I think gamification will completely revolutionize enterprise IT? No. Do I think it has some use in certain areas where you're struggling? Hell yeah.

So don't be turned off by the buzzwords too much. Find a business case. Implement something. Track the results. Submit the case study to insiderPROFILES. (Sorry..couldn't resist).

As always, comments, suggestions, rebuttals are encouraged. 

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