M2 Research expects game design within the enterprise to quickly rise and become the dominant segment of gamification by the end of 2013. This trend is amplified by an accelerating environment of consumerization. If the smartphone/tablet is the predominant hardware in the future mainstream work environment, gamification is the corresponding software component.
First used to describe the effects of Web 2.0 more than a decade ago, consumerization is about to enter a new phase as businesses adopt traditional game mechanics to drive competitive advantages and react to industry shifts more effectively.
In enterprise gamification, organizations replace defined business processes with desired outcomes by influencing and establishing sustainable behaviors. Outcomes are separated into internal and external desires, both of which are designed to deliver measurable results to support and, in some instances, replace key performance indicators (KPIs).
Enterprise gamification is an indicator that gamification is growing up and is extending its reach beyond consumer marketing to the operational core of a business. As more solutions start to come on the market in 2012, many companies will begin to implement key feature sets.
M2 Research estimates that by the end of 2012, enterprise‐ driven gamification will represent 38% of the overall market or $91 million. This figure is a substantial leap from 2011 when enterprise applications were still few and far between.
Strategy and approach
As enterprise gamification establishes itself as a critical business tool to deliver business goals, businesses and providers will evolve business analysis to apply behavior‐changing game mechanics.
M2 Research foresees a number of implementations where gamification may have significant relevance within an enterprise environment:
Workforce criteria: Enterprise gamification has to address a much broader age and education range than consumer gamification applications. Businesses have to reach across different age groups and education levels, and remain laser focused on their desired outcomes at the same time.
Behavioral pattern analysis: Enterprise gamification has a strong need for studying behavioral patterns within a targeted workforce. The capability to understand existing patterns, psychology, desires, and motivations as well as to understand how these characteristics can be influenced to invoke changed behavior will become an increasingly important criteria and differentiator for solution providers as enterprise gamification emerges.
Platform choice: Greater enterprise gamification platform choices have emerged in Q2 and platform varieties are expected to accelerate in general in 2012. The key competitive factor here will be flexible platforms that deliver time‐to‐market features and customization flexibility to serve customer needs. However, given the nascent market of enterprise gamification, there will soon be a shift to address deeper metrics on features and pricing that affect individual ROI.
Controlled environment and defined hierarchy: Successful enterprise gamification has a need for a well-defined organizational structure that clearly defines managers setting goals, potentially, on multiple levels and provides a strategy to monitor and control activities to prevent undesired behavior, including exaggerated greed, anxiety, lack of self‐control, bullying, and inflated envy, especially among application users in a highly competitive environment.
2012 is definitely a milestone year for gamification and, as it grows, will evolve into a serious component of consumer and employee engagement. It will be critical for both platform providers as well as deploying organizations to understand that implementing gamification is not a short‐term strategy. Instead, it is a long‐term commitment that requires diligence in audience research, application design, activation and maintenance to ultimately benefit from the opportunities that gamification principles offer. Only long‐term strategies provide an audience with the incentive to dedicate their attention to an application and will keep them engaged with the community as a whole.