Thursday, December 06, 2012

Gamification Consulting Boom Revisited

     Last year, I predicted that 2012 would be a big year for gamification consulting. This trend seems to be in full swing with consulting heavyweight Capgemini's recent announcement that they will join with gamification software provider Badgeville to accelerate large scale enterprise transformation.

     In a joint press release with Badgeville, Capgemini Consulting's VP of Digital Transformation, Maggie Buggie said:
"The bringing together of Badgeville's gamification expertise with our track record in large-scale strategic transformation is very exciting. Large and complex digitally enabled business transformations are often dependent on a significant cultural and behavioral shift, and the use of smartly-applied game mechanics as part of a behavioral change program can tackle that need in an innovative, engaging and meaningful way. Today's announcement also demonstrates Capgemini Consulting's commitment to innovation and our leadership in Digital Transformation."
     In the press release, Capgemini sites studies with the MIT Center for Digital Business as a motivating factor for this partnership. According to their studies, companies on the leading edge of digital transformations invest significantly in the soft side these efforts.  Gamification offers a creative and innovative way to foster collaboration around strategic priorities.
Gartner Hype Cycle

     Another unstated factor that may have been at play is the growing feeling that most gamification projects are poorly designed and would fail to meet their business objectives. Just last week, Gartner predicted that 80% of current gamified applications would fail by 2014 due to this reason. Gartner stated that "Gamification is being driven by novelty and hype." Thus, on Gartner's hype cycle, I'd place the industry somewhere on the peak of inflated expectations but sliding into the trough of disillusionment. This point is where seasoned consultants like Capgemini can help speed the gamification industry's transition to providing true productivity gains. Capgemini and other consultants can bring focus to "the more subtle and more important game design elements, such as balancing competition and collaboration, or defining a meaningful game economy" that Gartner finds missing from poorly designed gamification initiatives.

    The Gartner report combine with the Capgemini announcement indicate that the gamification industry is maturing but still isn't out of its awkward growth stage.

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