Digital innovation is disrupting business models, and redefining how we work and live. The pace of change is driving uncertainty to levels many find difficult to understand and manage. Headline stories on “the fourth industrial revolution” and up to a billion jobs “lost” to automation can serve as a wake-up call, but what’s needed are new ways for business, government and civil society leaders to understand digital disruption, to create strategies that generate customer value and provide services to citizens, to establish long-term trust, and to assure greater equality and fairness for an increasingly diverse society. Organizations are increasingly turning away from the traditional responses provided by academia and consulting firms, and looking toward those offering a distinctive voice backed by deeper insights into the phenomena driving digital disruption.


A research centre in the University of Exeter Business School, our London-based multidisciplinary faculty works closely with private and public organizations to understand, challenge, and create new value in the Digital Age. Through deep engagement, we develop research and teaching of relevance and impact across industry and government. We work with academia, business, and government to bring research-led insights into digital disruption and its impact. Meet our team.


Our work involves three different streams of activity: Academic research is pursued through application of a disciplined research approach aimed at applying quantitative and qualitative methods to validate and extend theory in digital economy. This work is funded via government and non-governmental agencies (e.g., RCUK, InnovateUK, BMGF, Welcome Trust, etc.). Industry engagement requires a combination of activities within businesses aimed at offering insights into their practical challenges. Through market research, problem solving initiatives, educational experiences, and multi-party brokering, INDEX engages with commercial organizations to provide actionable guidance and support as they seek to flourish within the turbulence of digitally-disrupted markets and industries. Public policy influence and impact comes from a wide variety of active engagements with government agencies, organizations, politicians, and other stakeholders. This involves a variety of actions aimed at analysis and commentary, education, and targeted intervention at a local, national and international level.


We 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 will be 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.

This initiative will deliver substantive impact through a blend of academic outputs, practice-focused studies, targeted experiments, and problem-focused learning and development engagements. The result will be to advance our understanding and reshape our thinking on how organizations and their ecosystems exploit digital data and define new business models of relevance in an increasingly digital economy.

Key themes


Exploring new forms of value in a data-driven economy.


Redefining relationships and ecosystems for digital delivery.


Balancing operational challenges in agility, speed, and control.


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