Ovum: look beyond technology to the cultural aspects of gamification
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Ovum: look beyond technology to the cultural aspects of gamification

Organizations should keep in mind that gamification is about more than just the underlying technology, says Ovum (www.ovum.com). 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.

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