Don’t Listen to Mumbo Jumbo ― Gamification Can Be a Profitable Investment

I got excited about productivity improving information systems about ten years ago. After around hundred project deliveries, several systems developed for our customers and our products Virta and Sydän, I ended up studying the benefits of gamification in different organizations. I’ve lectured a popular negotiation skills course for several years in Aalto university. The course offers a cross-disciplinary approach to the noble skill of negotiation. Gamification also draws from several branches of science: motivation psychology helps in understanding changes in human behaviour, mathematical modeling reveals causal factors leading to results and information science sheds light on the technology.

Besides academic interest and my own practical experience, I have closely followed the hype around gamification and the different approaches companies have to the subject. Choose the right approach to gamification and you’ll make sure that your organization’s investment is worth every penny. Don’t be fooled by the uncovered nonsense and mumbo jumbo the technology-oriented propeller heads try to feed you. The companies that offer gamified systems or gamify business solutions can be divided into roughly three categories:

  • Entertainment producers believe that productivity is improved by an animated Santa Claus who drops answers from his gift bag to frequently asked questions when clicking with the mouse
  • Technology believers trust that productivity will increase, for example, when every employee gathers badges or scores points by commenting on any SharePoint blog
  • Business solution providers solve business problems and improve customer’s results by changing behaviors and influencing business critical processes using game mechanisms

Cloudriven wants to provide value for your company. We are a business solution provider. We don’t cash in by selling “feature porn” and maximizing the billable hours of our employees as IT suppliers typically do. Instead we invest in gamified enterprise systems ― Virta, Sydän and soon to be launched Habit ― that solve our customers’ business problems and are used as productively as possible. That’s how we help our customers to change the behaviors of employees, partners and customers in a way that can be seen down to the last row of the income statement. At the same time it produces an exceptionally good ROI (Return on Investment) for the system investment.

I’m extremely glad for the possibility to be one of the lecturers in a course called Gamificate (in Finnish) which is arranged by the University of Oulu and Kajaani University of Applied Sciences during this autumn and winter 2014. I promise to use my observations and the things I’ve learned the hard way as examples in addition to theory. You can still sign up to the course before 31.8.! I’m sure you’ll find hands-on tips to benefit your business from the successful and not-so-successful examples given by me and other lecturers during course.