CIOs pay attention: Gartner says over half of innovation will be gamified by 2015

CIOs pay attention: Gartner says over half of innovation will be gamified by 2015

Summary: Whether you like it or not, gamification is hot, hot, hot. And CIOs and other IT types who aren't paying attention (or are busy pooh-poohing this trend) will be missing the boat, says Gartner.

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Whether you like it or not, gamification is hot, hot, hot. And CIOs and other IT types who aren't paying attention (or are busy pooh-poohing this trend) will be missing the boat, says Gartner.

Today, the tech research firm released a report that says over half of companies that want to drive innovation will be gamified by 2015 -- and that in three years, gamified services for consumer goods marketing/customer retention will become as important as Facebook, Amazon or eBay.

"Gamification describes the broad trend of employing game mechanics to non-game environments such as innovation, marketing, training, employee performance, health and social change," says Gartner analyst Brian Burke. "Enterprise architects, CIOs and IT planners must be aware of, and lead, the business trend of gamification, educate their business counterparts and collaborate in the evaluation of opportunities within the organization."

An example cited in the report includes the UK Department for Work and Pensions, which created a Idea Street -- a social collaboration platform with points, leaderboards and buzz index -- which helped generate 1,400 ideas from its staff of 120K people -- 63 of which are in various stages of implementation.

Gartner went a step further and laid out four ways of driving engagement through gamification:

"1. Accelerated feedback cycles. In the real world, feedback loops are slow (e.g., annual performance appraisals) with long periods between milestones. Gamification increases the velocity of feedback loops to maintain engagement.

2. Clear goals and rules of play. In the real world, where goals are fuzzy and rules selectively applied, 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. While there is no shortage of challenges in the real world, they tend to be large and long-term. Gamification provides many short-term, achievable goals to maintain engagement."

"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," says Burke.

This whole ‘gamification is a big deal’ message will be explored further at the Gartner Enterprise Architecture Summit 2011, May 9-10 in London and June 22-23 in San Diego, CA. For a more hands-on experience, you can also attend one of Gabe Zichermann's recently announced Gamification mini-summits which will take place in several cities starting in May.

Topics: CXO, Emerging Tech, IT Priorities

Libe Goad

About Libe Goad

Texas native Libe Goad resides in New York City and has spent the past decade covering technology and video games for publications including Blender, PC Magazine, Bust, Seventeen and Sync.

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14 comments
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  • RE: CIOs pay attention: Gartner says over half of innovation will be gamified by 2015

    Lately I've been keeping track of "Skill points" that I've been awarding myself for truly epic fixes at work. Training an amateur computer user successfully, or fixing some major cock-up in a system is totally worth a skill point. Surprisingly motivating!!!
    Imrhien
    • RE: CIOs pay attention: Gartner says over half of innovation will be gamified by 2015

      @Imrhien Wow, that is a very cool idea! If that were to be expanded out to a large IT group, prizes could be given out to the highest achievers. I like that. I wonder if it would be 1. possible and 2. ethical to use that as a bases for performance evaluation. Interesting.
      jason.lambert
    • RE: CIOs pay attention: Gartner says over half of innovation will be gamified by 2015

      @Imrhien - You have made me smile. In fact, you have caused me to coin a new web acronym. Your post was totally SMCF - "Spill My Coffee Funny"
      stmo
  • Ho, please give up on Gartner

    I am no spammer, please. Do not forget that someone needs to pay for those studies. Please keep an open mind.

    If Gartner was a financial advisor, it would not have a lot of clients with that kind of advise.
    papyrus100
  • RE: CIOs pay attention: Gartner says over half of innovation will be gamified by 2015

    Gamification: Another new, stupid take on a word from some pretty convoluted niches in technology. I tried hard to read this stuff with an open mind but there is just no way I can see any value in it. It'll end up with a few favorites out of thousands (1400 out of 120,000?) is a pretty puny spec. And it would do a slacker a lot of good getting his 8 hrs a day in while all around him tight projects are working the ten and twelve hour days and Saturdays to keep to the project schedule. It's just too silly to say anymore on; it's a total waste of resources if a company is to move quickly.
    tomaaaaaa1
  • RE: CIOs pay attention: Gartner says over half of innovation will be gamified by 2015

    It seems to me that gamificaiton diminishes the quality of goals in an effort to accommodate deteriorating quality in the workforce. I recall a time when the prizes for self-motivated innovation and working hard were continued employment and continued pay checks. Why does today's workforce need a constant stream of additional incentives to complete the work they are hired to do? In the factory days, employees were awarded bonuses for going OVER quota - not for coming close to it.
    adante256
  • Gamification?

    If you employ idiots you have to accommodate them. If your employees think gamification is a crock, hang on to them, you've got the right ones.
    MrBeck
    • RE: CIOs pay attention: Gartner says over half of innovation will be gamified by 2015

      @MrBeck It sounds like something from a Dilbert strip, doesn't it? Who sits around and invents all this hooey - assigning points, leaderboards? Why not just give out gold star stickers than have nap time? Sig Sigma "Black belts", "green belts", etc? Business seems second only to dieting in the continuous adoption of ridiculous fads.
      jgm2
      • Gamification - good psychology?

        @jgm@...
        But slow down a moment. If you are part of a really big organization you are inevitably flooded with mediocrity. Hopefully your management isn't. So there is a divide, and managers need to know what motivates the producers. It is a partnership and each side needs to know how the other side works if the partnership is to work. We keep reinventing it because we keep forgetting it.
        PassingWind
  • RE: CIOs pay attention: Gartner says over half of innovation will be gamified by 2015

    Here a game for you - start a betting pool that by 2015, 95% of people questioned will have forgotten all about this report.
    Biotechguy
  • Not new wisdom - but worth the reminder:

    1. Accelerated feedback cycles.
    2. Clear goals and rules of play.
    3. A compelling narrative.
    4. Tasks that are challenging but achievable.

    Shame about the new name for it, but what's in a name?
    PassingWind
  • RE: CIOs pay attention: Gartner says over half of innovation will be gamified by 2015

    Gartner said it all:<br>"While there is no shortage of challenges in the real world, they tend to be large and long-term"<br>If you don't want to compete in the real world, gamification is for you, of course the rewards are as virtual as the gamified world you choose to play in.
    RA5
  • Re Corporate Chieftains Hoodwinked Again by Shallow Research Groups

    Every time i read another one of these "Gamification is coming!" pieces I get just a little bit more scared of how numbingly dumb people can be. If you actually read this stuff carefully you'd swear it came directly out of the pages of The Onion. I remain flabbergasted.

    Perhaps we need to find a Gartner competitor and fund a counter trend rumor around the coming "Worldification" of the enterprise... where "IT planners" and "CEOs" and "enterprise architects" (wtf?!) all are seen to be jumping on a quirky new trend towards injecting real-world cognition and constructs into the brands and workplaces of the near-future.

    Thom Kennon | @tkennon | bigevidence.blogspot.com
    tkennon
  • Is employee engagement so bad that we have to gamify the workplace?

    Wouldn't it be better to find out why employees are so demotivated in the first place? I think Goleman in Primal Leadership, and Slap in Bury My Heart in Conference Room B are onto a better path to solving the issue of mediocre employee engagement.

    In my humble opinion, Executive Coaching of CIO's and other IT leaders stands a better chance of making a difference than gamification.

    Vic Harder
    @victorharder
    www.ex-it.ca
    mx51