Let the games begin! Yes, the Olympic Games in London are just around the corner, and I’m eagerly looking forward to them. But that’s not what I was referring to. Rather, what I’m talking about are games of another kind.

According to a recent CIO.com article, companies are starting to use the motivational techniques of video games — such as points, leaderboards and levels — to create more engaging business applications. It’s called “gamification.” Gamification first took off in 2007, and has proved to be recession-proof. Research firm Gartner predicts 70 percent of leading global companies will have at least one gamified app by 2014. In fact Brian Burke, Gartner’s Vice President of Research, says, “Gamification could become as important as Facebook, eBay or Amazon.” Gartner forecasts, “The opportunities for businesses are great — from having more engaged customers, to crowdsourcing innovation or improving employee performance.”

Wikipedia lists a number of uses of gamification applications including:

  • Financial services websites
  • Online shopping
  • Employee training, performance and HR programs
  • Enhancing loyalty programs
  • Social networks
  • Surveys
  • Sustainability
  • Call centers
  • Market research

So, if you are wondering what all the fuss is about, here are some articles on the subject and a couple about how gaming companies themselves are dealing with the explosion of gaming applications.

If you are looking for gaming solutions from an IT provider, check out the challenges associated with managing your IT Infrastructure and how to optimize the performance and availability of applications over the Internet.