Thursday Dec 05, 2013

Gartner Hype Cycles

Today I was looking at the Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies to see where they currently position Gamification.  The latest Hype Cycle has moved to the tippy top of the expectations curve.

 A little history...  In 2010, Gartner didn't even include gamification in the Hype Cycle, so it hadn't even registered on the Technology Trigger end of the cycle.

2010 Gartner Hype Cycle

(source Gartner.com)

 Gartner describes the Hype Cycles this way:

"Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies" targets strategic planning, innovation and emerging technology professionals by highlighting a set of technologies that will have broad-ranging impact across the business. It is the broadest aggregate Gartner Hype Cycle, featuring technologies that are the focus of attention because of particularly high levels of hype, or those that may not be broadly acknowledged but that Gartner believes have the potential for significant impact."

Jackie Fenn, vice president and Gartner fellow

By 2011, however, the Hype Cycle not only included Gamification, but jumped it up past the Technology Trigger and just into the space of the Peak of Inflated Expectations and predicted it was 5-10 years from mainstream adoption.

2011 Gartner Hype Cycle

(source Gartner.com)

 In 2012, the story was about the same. Gamification sat on the same place on the curve, still projected to be 5-10 years from mainstream adoption.

2012 Gartner Hype Cycle

(source http://www.forbes.com/sites/gartnergroup/2012/09/18/key-trends-to-watch-in-gartner-2012-emerging-technologies-hype-cycle-2/)

It wasn't at it's peak, but it hadn't started to hit the Trough of Disillusionment where:

"Technologies and related startups ... fail to meet expectations and quickly become unfashionable. Consequently, the press usually abandons the topic."(http://www.businessinsider.com/great-startups-sell-around-gartner-hype-predictions-2013-4)

 So what's the status for 2013?  Now gamification is at the very top of the Peak of Inflated Expectations.

2013 Gartner Hype Cycle

(source http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2575515)

It's still seen as 5-10 years out from its plateau, but also dangerously close to the Trough of Disillusionment. Perhaps accordingly, I've seen more and more effort to move away from the term "gamification" in the enterprise space, and instead focus on terms like employee engagement and motivation.  More companies are trying to focus less on the splash of gamification and more on the idea of what successful gamification *does*.  Executives might argue that gamification sounds like we are trivializing enterprise software, but who is going to argue against more engaged and motivated employees?

It will be interesting to see where Gartner will put this next year, and if those of us interested in gamification can avoid that trough of disillusionment within our organizations.




About

All things gamification, mostly focused on the Enterprise space but occasionally on other issues related to gamification. Written by Erika Noll Webb, Senior Manager User Experience from the Fusion Applications User Experience group. Thoughts are my own. Picked the fish theme because the fish are orange and blue. Go Illini. Twitter @erikanollwebb and @GamifyOracle

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