5 Valuable Lessons Pokemon Go Can Teach IT Teams

Since game developer, Niantic Labs, launched the GPS-based, augmented reality game, Pokemon Go, on July 6, 2016, the whole world has been caught in a frenzy.
Initially available in the United States at the time, Pokemon Go broke records and replaced Candy Crush as the most popular mobile game ever—registering more than 20 million active users just a week after its launch.
Even regular players in social media apps such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter paled in comparison at some point in terms of Pokemon Go’s daily usage.
The road to success for Pokemon Go has not been without bumps, though. Multiple server crashes, lost GPS connections, battery drains, and serving of bans against cheaters, to name a few, showed that the app had a number of issues to address.
Despite these, fans have remained feeling thrilled about catching those Pokemon monsters and evolving, training, and preparing them for battle with other players.
Well, guess what? Your own IT team can actually learn a thing or two from the no-nonsense app that is Pokemon Go.

On Software Development

API errors in the app caused either undetected or inaccurate GPS locations, which affected the overall game experience for numerous users.
With that, Pokemon Go demonstrated the importance of having error-free APIs in conjunction with how they might affect the GUI behavior of the game.
The goal includes testing API functionality before an app or system launch, as well as of monitoring the API’s correctness in actual scenarios involving the end users’ location, device, operating system, and service provider.


On User Data

As a developer, you may be handling user-submitted data, and you’d do well to filter through it.
In Pokemon Go, the app relies on previously collected user-generated data to designate gyms and Pokestops, where players can train and buy items for their Pokemon. Certain remote locations, however, could pose a danger to users.
Validating and testing customer-generated data gives you more control over how you can use it in your system.

On Designing the Infrastructure

Pokemon servers could become overloaded because of simultaneous attempts to access them, causing the game to stop working. Needless to say, your servers should be made to withstand traffic demand from end users, or at the very least, have some contingencies in place to help reduce server capacity issues.

On Security and Privacy Policies

iOS users have expressed concern over the Pokemon Go’s requests to access their Google account during download, although Niantic was quick to issue a fix by modifying the permissions settings required for the app.
The lesson? Plan for security and privacy issues so no customer feels that logging into your system will compromise the safety of their identity.

On Creativity and Customer Preferences

What’s so special about Pokemon Go is how it seamlessly integrated the virtual world into the real one. The mobile app brought random people together in different locations—all waiting for the fictional Pokemon to appear in the real world, at least, on the screen of your smartphone or tablet.
The challenge for you now is to bring the same kind of interactive technology in your products or services to better serve your target market’s needs, interests, and behavior, which can promote more customer engagement.
From all indications, Pokemon Go has become the ultimate game changer in today’s highly virtual world, and your IT team could take after the same approach whether it’s a lesson learned or a muse that teaches you how to make things work better. As Niantic would say, you gotta catch ‘em all!