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University of Exeter Business School

Professor Alan Brown

Professor Alan Brown

Professor in Digital Economy

 +44 (0) 777 2454541



Alan is focused on designing digital strategies for growth, leading agile approaches to digital technology adoption and business transformation, and understanding the relationship between technology adoption and business innovation in today’s rapidly-evolving digital economy.

He is an experienced business leader, academic, and advisor having spent almost 2 decades in the USA in largescale software-driven programmes with commercial high-tech companies leading R&D teams, building state-of-the-art solutions, and driving innovation in software product delivery. Initially this involved software engineering research at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA.  The, following software delivery roles in Texas Instruments and Sterling Software, Alan was responsible for driving business development at a Silicon Valley startup through to its successful exit. The resulted in 5 years as an IBM Distinguished Engineer based in the USA and Europe leading enterprise strategy for some of IBMs largest clients. 

Subsequently, Alan co-founded the Surrey Centre for the Digital Economy (CoDE) at the University of Surrey where he led research initiatives in 4 EPSRC-funded research projects and has now transitioned this work to his role as Professor in Digital Economy at the University of Exeter. In March 2021, Alan became Director of an £11M UK National Research Centre exploring digital transformation in Large Established Organizations (LEOs) which he led through its first year. In Summer 2022 he moved his focus to lead the Defence Data Research Centre (DDRC), a £4M research programme funded by DSTL investigating AI and data science in the defence sector. 

The impact of Alan’s research is seen in his extensive publication record and frequent keynote talks at leading events. These form part of his varied consulting activities where he advises clients in the public and private sectors including Zoetis, Mars, UK National Audit Office, Centrica, SAP, Siemens, Thales, and several UK Government agencies. In addition, Alan is a Fellow of the British Computer Society (FBCS). From March 2019 to September 2023, Alan was a Fellow at the Alan Turing Institute, the UK national institute for AI and data science.

He has published 6 books and numerous papers on software engineering, systems design, and digital business transformation. He was also named in the 2018 list of the world’s 100 most influential people in digital government. Alan’s latest books include “Delivering Digital Transformation: A manager’s guide to the digital revolution” and “Digital Economy Dispatches: Critical reflections on how to succeed with digital transformation in turbulent times”.




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Research interests

  • Agile organizations, leadership, and decision making
  • The relationship between technology innovation and business innovation
  • Digital technologies and digital business transformation

To provide practical insights into the effects of digital disruption in business and society, and to deliver tools that offer measurable impact to drive strategic and operational advantages in the emerging digital economy. The focus is in three areas:

  • Value: Exploring new forms of value in a data-driven world.
  • Trust: Redefining relationships and ecosystems through digital connectivity.
  • Risk: Balancing operational challenges in agility, speed, and control.

Research projects

Recent research projects:


Next Generation Paper (NGP)   (C)
​ARCHANGEL - Trusted Archives of Digital Public Records (C)
​Co-operative Models for Evidence-based Healthcare Redistribution (CoMEHeRe ) (P)
​Control and Trust in Vulnerability for new Business Models (ConTriVE) (C)

Research grants

  • 2022 Defence Science and Technology Laboratory
    Defence Data Research Centre (DDRC)

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Brown AW (2021). Digital Economy Dispatches: Critical reflections on how to succeed with digital transformation in turbulent times., Unities Press.
Brown A (2019). Delivering Digital Transformation: a Manager's Guide to the Digital Revolution., Walter de Gruyter. Abstract.
Brown AW, Fishenden J, Thompson M (2015). Digitizing Government: Understanding and implementing new digital business models., Palgrave McMillan.
Ali Babar M, Brown AW, Mistrik I (2013). Agile Software Architecture: Aligning agile processes., Morgan Kaufman.
Brown AW (2012). Enterprise Software Delivery: Bringing efficiency and agility to the global software supply chain., Addison Wesley.
Brown AW (2000). Large-scale Component-Based Development., Prentice-Hall.
Brown AW (1996). Component-Based Software Engineering., IEEE Computer Society Press.
Brown AW, Carney DJ, Morris EJ, Smith DB, Zarrella PF (1994). Principles of CASE Tool Integration., Oxford University Press.
Brown AW, Earl AN, McDermid JA (1992). Software Engineering Environments: Automated Support for Software Engineers., McGraw-Hill.
(eds)(1991). Integrated Project Support Environments: the Aspect Project., Academic Press.
Brown AW (1991). Object-Oriented Databases: Applications in Software Engineering., McGraw-Hill.
Brown AW (1990). Database Support for Software Engineering., Chapman and Hall.
Brown A, Hitchcock P (1990). Proceedings of the 8th British National Conference on Databases (BNCOD-8)., Pitman Publishing Ltd.

Journal articles

Kazantsev N, Islam N, Zwiegelaar J, Brown A, Maull R (In Press). Data Sharing for Business Model Innovation in Platform Ecosystems: from Private Data to Public Good. Technological Forecasting and Social Change Abstract.
Coutts LV, Plans D, Brown AW, Collomosse J (2020). Deep learning with wearable based heart rate variability for prediction of mental and general health. Journal of Biomedical Informatics, 112, 103610-103610.
Lopez D, Brown AW, Plans D (2019). Developing opportunities in digital health: the case of BioBeats Ltd. Journal of Business Venturing Insights, 11 Abstract.
Frohlich DM, Corrigan-Kavanagh E, Beynon M, Bober M, Yuan H, Sporea R, Le Borgne B, Scarles C, Revill G, van Duppen J, et al (2019). The Cornwall a-book: an Augmented Travel Guide Using Next Generation Paper. Journal of Electronic Publishing, 22(1).
Brown A, Fishenden J, Thompson M, Venters W (2017). Appraising the impact and role of platform models and Government as a Platform (GaaP) in UK Government public service reform: Towards a Platform Assessment Framework (PAF). Government Information Quarterly, 34(2), 167-182. Abstract.
Maull R, Godsiff P, Mulligan C, Brown A, Kewell B (2017). Distributed ledger technology: Applications and implications. Strategic Change, 26(5), 481-489. Abstract.
Brown AW (2013). Toward the Agile Organization: Accelerating innovation in software delivery. Cutter IT Journal
Brown AW, McDermid J (2007). The Art and Science of Software Architecture. International Journal of Cooperative Information Systems (IJCIS), 16, 439-466.
Brown AW, Iyengar S, Johnson SK (2006). A Rational Approach to Model-Driven Development. IBM Systems Journal, 44, 463-480.
Brown AW, Delbaere M, Eeles P, Johnston S, Weaver R (2005). Realizing Service oriented Solutions with the IBM Software Development Platform. IBM Systems Journal, 44, 727-752.
Brown AW (2004). An Introduction to Model Driven Architecture – Part 1; MDA and Today’s Systems. IBM developerWorks, RationalEdge
Brown AW (2004). An Introduction to the IBM Rational Design and Construction Tool Strategy. IBM RationalEdge
Brown AW (2004). Model-Driven Architecture: Principles and Practice. Journal of Systems and Software Modeling, 4, 314-327.
Brown AW, Johnston S (2003). Using Service-Oriented Architecture and Component-Based Development to Build Web Service Applications. IBM DeveloperWorks
Brown AW (1999). Moving from Components to CBD. Component Strategies, 23-28.
Brown AW, Wallnau KC (1998). The Current State of CBSE. IEEE Software
Brown AW (1998). Tools for Enterprise-Scale CBD. Component Strategies, 22-31.
Brown AW, Judd RP, Riddick F (1997). Architectural Issues in the Design and Implementation of an Integrated Toolkit for Manufacturing Engineering. International Journal of Computer Integrated Manufacturing, Special Issue
Brown AW, Morrow B (1997). Component-Based Development for the Enterprise. Information Week, 16
Brown AW, Wallnau KC (1996). A Framework for Evaluating Software Technology. IEEE Software, 13, 39-49.
Brown AW, Christie AM, Dart SA (1995). An Examination of Software Maintenance Practices in a U.S. Government Organization. Journal of Software Maintenance, 7, 223-238.
Brown AW, Caldwell WM, Carney DJ, Christie AM, Morris EJ, Zarrella PF (1994). A Case Study in Use of Framework Technology as the Basis of a Software Engineering Environment. Journal of Systems Integration
Rader JA, Brown AW, Morris EJ (1994). Operational Use of CASE Integration: an Investigation of the State of the Practice. Journal of Systems and Software
Brown AW, Morris EJ, Rader JA (1994). The Search for Integrated CASE Environments. American Programmer, 7, 8-15.
Brown AW (1993). Control Integration Through Message Passing in a Software Development Environment. Software Engineering Journal, 121-131.
Brown AW, Carney DJ, Feiler PH, Oberndorf PA, Zelkowitz MV (1993). Issues in the Definition and Use of a Project Support Environment Reference Model. Computer Standards and Interfaces, 15, 431-444.
Brown AW, Feiler PH, Wallnau KC (1993). Understanding Integration in a Software Development Environment: Issues and Illustrations. Journal of Systems Integration, 5, 303-329.
Brown AW, Penedo MH (1992). An Annotated Bibliography on Software Engineering Environment Integration. ACM Software Engineering Notes, 17, 47-55.
Brown AW, McDermid JA (1992). Learning from IPSE’s Mistakes. IEEE Software, 9, 23-28.
Brown AW (1990). Database Support for Systems Engineering. IEE Colloquium on IT for Systems Engineers
Brown AW (1989). From Semantic Data Models to Object-Orientation in Design Databases. Information and Software Technology Journal, 31, 39-46.
Brown AW (1988). An Introduction to Integrated Project Support Environments. Journal of Information Technology, 3, 194-204.
Brown AW (1988). Integrated Project Support Environments. Information and Management, 15, 125-134.
Brown AW (1988). The Relationship Between CAD and Software Development Support: a Database Perspective. Computer-Aided Engineering Journal, 5, 226-232.


Brown A (2021). Digital Transformation: Toward a New Perspective for Large Established Organizations in a Digital Age. In Ekman P, Dahlin P, Keller C (Eds.) Management and Information Technology after Digital Transformation, Routledge. Abstract.
Brown AW (2021). Digital transformation: Towards a new perspective for large established organisations in a digital age. In  (Ed) Management and Information Technology after Digital Transformation, 8-19.
Brown AW (2013). Experiences with Cloud Technology to Realize Software Testing Factories. In Tilley S, Parveen T (Eds.) Software Testing in the Cloud, IGI, 1-27.
Brown AW, Conallen J, Tropeano D (2005). Models. Modeling, and Model Driven Development. In Beydeda S, Book M, Gruhn V (Eds.) Model-Driven Software Development, Springer, 1-17.
Brown AW, Conallen J, Tropeano D (2005). Practical Insights into MDA: Lessons from the Design and Use of an MDA Toolkit. In Beydeda S, Book M, Gruhn V (Eds.) Model-Driven Software Development, Springer, 403-432.
Brown AW, Booch G, Iyengar S, Rumbaugh J, Selic B (2004). An MDA Manifesto. In Frankel D, Parodi J (Eds.) Model Driven Architecture Straight from the Masters, Meghan-Kiffer Press.
Brown AW, Booch G (2003). Collaborative Development Environments. In  (Ed) Advances in Computers Vol. 53, Academic Press, 1-26.
Brown AW (2000). Component-Based Development. In  (Ed) Advances in Computers, Volume 46, Academic Press.
Brown AW (1999). Building a System in Pieces: Fundamentals of Component-Based Development. In  (Ed) Constructing Superior Software, McMillan Press.
Carney DJ, Brown AW (1995). On the Necessary Conditions for the Composition of Integrated Software Engineering Environments. In  (Ed) Advances in Computers, Volume 41, 157-189.
Brown AW, McDermid JA (1991). On Integration and Reuse in a Software Engineering Environment. In Long F (Ed) Software Engineering Environments, Ellis Horwood Ltd.
Atkins MC, Brown AW (1991). Principles of Object-Oriented Systems. In McDermid JA (Ed) The Software Engineer’s Reference Book, Butterworth.
Hitchcock P, Brown AW (1990). A Comparison of Software Engineering Databases. In Hall PAV (Ed) Software Engineering 90, Cambridge University Press, 32-65.
Brown AW (1988). A View Mechanism for an Integrated Project Support Environment. In Benyon D, Skidmore S (Eds.) Automating Systems Development, Plenum Press, 283-298.
Brown AW, Robinson DS, Weedon RA (1986). Managing Software Development. In Barnes D, Brown P (Eds.) Software Engineering 86, Peter Peregrinus Ltd, 197-235.


Cherry G, Kazantsev N, Wright A, Street T, Wells K, Cook AJ, Brown AW (2022). SEMANTIC DATA INNOVATION HUBS: ANSWER AS a SERVICE. Abstract.
Maull R, Maull W, Brown A (2021). Patterns of adoption of agile tools. Abstract.
Bui T, Cooper D, Collomosse J, Bell M, Green A, Sheridan J, Higgins J, Das A, Keller J, Thereaux O, et al (2019). ARCHANGEL: Tamper-proofing video archives using temporal content hashes on the blockchain. Abstract.
Franceschi M, Morelli D, Plans D, Brown A, Collomosse J, Coutts L, Ricci L (2019). ComeHere: Exploiting ethereum for secure sharing of health-care data. Abstract.
Collomosse J, Bui T, Brown A, Sheridan J, Green A, Bell M, Fawcett J, Higgins J, Thereaux O (2018). Archangel: Trusted archives of digital public documents.
Sporea RA, Le Borgne BH, Yrjänä S, Nordman S, Ritvonen T, Seisto A, Revill G, Bober MZ, Brown A, Scarles CE, et al (2018). Next generation paper: an augmented book platform. Organic and Hybrid Sensors and Bioelectronics XI.
Brown AW, Ambler S, Royce W (2013). Agile at Scale: Economic Governance, Measured Improvement, and Disciplined Delivery.
Brown AW (2011). A Case Study in Agility-at-Scale Delivery.
A W Brown ALM, Oliva LR (2011). Practical Experiences with Software Factory Approaches in Enterprise Software Delivery.
Brown AW (2008). MDA Redux: Practical Realization of Model driven Architecture.
Brown AW, Delbaere M, Johnston S (2007). A Practical Perspective on the Design and Implementation of Service-oriented Solutions.
Brown AW, McDermid J (2007). The Art and Science of Software Architecture.
Brown AW, Johnston SK (2006). A Model-driven Development Approach to Creating Service-oriented Solutions.
Brown AW (2004). Building Service-Oriented Architectures with the IBM Software Development Platform.
Brown AW, Booch G (2002). Reusing Open Source Software and Services.
Brown AW, Barn B (1999). Enterprise Scale CBD: Building Complex Computer Systems from Components.
Brown AW (1999). The Future of Component-Based Enterprise Application Development.
Brown AW, Barn B (1998). Fundamentals of CBD.
Brown AW (1997). CASE in the 21st Century: an Examination of the Problems Facing Established CASE Vendors.
Brown AW, Short K (1997). On Components and Objects: the Foundations of Component-Based Development.
Brown AW, Wallnau KC (1996). Engineering of Component-Based Systems.
Brown AW, Carney DJ, Clements PC (1995). A Case Study in Assessing the Maintainability of a Large Software-Intensive System.
Brown AW, Carney DJ, Clements PC, Meyers BC, Smith DB, Weiderman N, Wood WG (1995). Assessing the Quality of a Large, Software-Intensive System: a Case Study.
Rader JA, Brown AW (1995). Computer-Aided Sub-Processes (CASPs): a Practical Approach to the Use of CASE Technology to Support Process Improvement.
Garlan D, Brown AW (1995). The CMU Master of Software Engineering Core Curriculum.
Brown AW, Carney DJ, Oberndorf PA (1994). Practical Evaluation of Software Engineering Environment Technology.
Brown AW (1994). Why Evaluating CASE Environments is Different from Evaluating CASE Tools.
Brown AW, Carney DJ, Feiler PH, Oberndorf PA, Zelkowitz MV (1993). A Project Support Environment Reference Model.
Brown AW (1993). An Examination of the Current State of IPSE Technology.
Rader J, Brown AW, Morris EJ (1993). An Investigation into the State-of-the-Practice of CASE Integration.
Brown AW, Caldwell WM, Long FW, Morris EJ, Zarrella PF (1993). Experiences with a Federated Environment Testbed.
Brown AW, Carney DJ (1993). Towards a Disciplined Approach to the Construction and Analysis of Software Engineering Environments.
Brown AW, Feiler PH (1992). An Analytical Technique for Examining Integration in a Project Support Environment Services Reference Model.
Brown AW, Feiler PH, Wallnau KC (1992). Past and Future Models of CASE Integration.
Brown AW, Feiler PH (1992). The Conceptual Basis for a Project Support Environment Services Reference Model.
Brown AW, Feiler PH, Wallnau KC (1992). Understanding Integration in a Software Development Environment.
Ochuodho SJ, Brown AW (1991). A Process-Oriented Version and Configuration Management Model for Communications Software.
Ochuodho SJ, Brown AW (1991). XDL: an Object-Oriented Extension to SDL.
Ochuodho SJ, Brown AW (1991). XDL: an Object-Oriented Specification and Description Language for Telecommunication Systems.
Brown AW, Took RK, Daly WG (1990). Design and Construction of Graphical User Interfaces using Surface Interaction.
Brown AW (1989). Object-Based Database Support for Software Engineering and the Aspect Project.
Brown AW, Pearcy A, Holmes SJ, Benest ID (1988). An Application for Evaluating the Aspect Development Software.
Brown AW (1988). An Object-Based Interface to an IPSE Database.
Brown AW, Earl AN, Hitchcock P, Weedon R, Whittington RP (1986). The Use of Databases for Software Engineering.


Brown AW (2004). Realizing the IBM Software Development Platform. IBM Rational.
Brown AW (1995). Proceedings of the SEI/MCC Symposium on the use of COTS in Systems Integration. CMU/SEI-95-SR-007, Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA.

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External Engagement and Impact

Awards and Honours

External positions

Invited lectures

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MBA modules in Fundamentals of Digital Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Business Model Innovation.

Various executive education programmes and workshops in digital economy themes.

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