I’ve spent 30 years focused on agile approaches to digital technology adoption and business transformation, looking at the relationship between technology and business innovation in today’s rapidly-evolving digital economy.
I now teach and research in digital transformation topics, and consult with startups and established organizations in the public and private sector to help them figure out what’s going on, ask better questions, and learn quickly from their experiences.
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 apolitical.co 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”.