Alan Brown

Executive Director of CoDE and Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation
+44 (0)1483 682126
62 MS 03



Alan W. Brown is Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Surrey Business School where he leads activities in the area of corporate entrepreneurship and open innovation models. In addition to teaching activities in entrepreneurship and global strategy, he focuses on innovation in a number of practical research areas with regard to global enterprise software delivery, agile software supply chains, and the investigation of "open commercial" software delivery models. The result of this work is a series of practical frameworks and success models for advancing enterprise activities in local small-medium businesses, large corporations, and student enterprise groups.

Alan brings a wide range of leading-edge practical industry experience to his work at Surrey Business School. Alan was previously an IBM Distinguished Engineer with the IBM Rational group where he consulted on business strategy, agile software delivery, and new business models. Before joining the University in September 2012, Alan´s previous role was IBM Rational CTO for Europe. For over 10 years Alan worked with customers around the world consulting on software engineering strategy as it pertains to enterprise solutions, process improvement, innovation in product delivery, and the transition to service-oriented solutions. In his work with IBM, Alan was responsible for IBM Rational's strategy as it relates to enterprise solution delivery, software delivery economics, and distributed software and systems delivery. This involved working with engineering teams on product architecture, product management groups on creating plans, and marketing and field teams on positioning IBM Rational's products and services.

In earlier industry roles, Alan previously led business development and technology strategy activities at Catapulse Inc., a Silicon Valley start-up funded by Rational Corp. and Benchmark Capital. Catapulse grew to over 200 employees before its purchase by Rational for $400M. Earlier in his career, Alan also spent several years as Director of R&D in the Software Lab. at Texas Instruments in Dallas, TX, and VP of R&D at Computer Associates in Plano, TX. In addition, Alan spent 5 years working at the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. There Alan led a team working with several large US government clients supporting their disciplined adoption of software tools and practices, performed architectural design reviews on numerous large systems, and contributed to several industry and government standards activities.

Alan has extensive experience in service-based design, component-based development, software engineering environments, and enterprise application development tools. He has published over 60 papers, authored five books, and edited an additional three books. Alan holds a PhD in Computing Science from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK. His latest books include "Digitizing Government: Understanding and implement new digital business models" published by Macmillan in December 2014, and "Agile Software Architecture: Aligning agile processes and software architectures" published by Morgan Kaufman in December 2013.

Research interests

  • Agile Innovation Practices
  • Global enterprise software delivery
  • Agile software supply chains
  • "Open commercial" software delivery models.

Research collaborations

  • Member of University of Cambridge's Open Platforms and Innovation Group


  • MBA: Entrepreneur module; Innovation and Design Thinking module
  • Industry: Digital Transformation and Digital Business Models


  • PhD in Computational Science, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 1988.

My publications


For a full CV including publications, see