Research project: Mobile digital technology and the need for new business models

20130321_144103In the last year, I have been exploring – with colleagues Sarah Quinton and Paul Jackson – the research priorities brought about by ‘digital’, where digital is defined in a very broad sense to include new types of data, new methods and new business realities. We are particularly concerned with research that has a very direct impact on management practice. This interest has led to the organisation of two events bringing together business and academia (more information here and here).

One of the issues mentioned over and over again at these events is that traditional business models are not relevant in the current business context characterised by intangibility, interactivity and abundance of information. There is great need for research looking into the potential of business model innovation. Hence, it is with great pleasure that I share with you the news that Paul Jackson, Sarah Quinton, myself and three other colleagues at Oxford Brookes University have now secured funding for a research project looking into this very same topic.

The project is entitled ‘Going mobile: what today’s digital technologies mean for business models’ and, as described in this blog post, it aims to:

  • Identify how mobile digital technologies are impacting upon different businesses and industries;
  • Identify business models organisations might adopt in responding to threats and opportunities presented by these technologies within their industry;
  • Develop, through workshops and action research, a methodology that could be used by organisations to address the challenges mobile presents to their business models.

So, busy (but exciting) times ahead!

What has been the most fundamental way in which mobile digital technology has affected your life?

4 thoughts on “Research project: Mobile digital technology and the need for new business models

  1. Congrats on securing funding for this Ana ~ a highly relevant project!

    “A very direct impact on management practice” made me think about some linkage with Alex Osterwalder’s work on describing business models via the canvas. Accessible stuff with a large following. The community he started to co-create the book content while charging for community membership is itself a neat variation on the new “anyone can publish” industry business model.

    Effect of mobile on my life ~ fundamentally, the intangible of *feeling* connected. To my close friends as well as more widely. I feel more aware of a broader range of perspectives and my place in a global context. I can connect whenever/wherever I want at the touch of a screen. The friction has been reduced so I’m freed up to live more spontaneously, to be more responsive to short-notice opportunities/meets, and to work while commuting and travelling.

    The downside ~ focus. Curbing my always-on informavore tendencies requires discipline. I’m experimenting with new habits like “no email before breakfast” – “only email 3 times a day” etc. And, of course, I have a free mobile app ( to help me monitor this 😉


    1. Thank you, Rob. I think it’s a great project, too – though, I am biased…

      See, that (the co-created book) is a new business model right there: you pay, you provide content, I publish the book. Though it is also one that you can not repeat many times.

      How is the monitoring / curbing going? Did you see the article (+ video) that Paul Miller wrote after having spent 1 year without the Internet?


  2. Congratulations, Ana! Wonderful news, and as Rob said: highly relevant. I think that we need a lot of new business models, and mobile digital technology is partly responsible. (Another cause are the modern-day nomads, but that’s a discussion for another time).
    Anyway, I just read a post on HBR on how virtual and brick-and-mortar retailing are converging. And that’s also where I think mobile will have a huge effect.
    If I think about the impact mobile technology has had on my life, what keeps recurring is ‘enabler’. Mobile technology is helping me to do things I always wanted to do while not stationary, whether it is inside the house, or outside. Taking notes, recording memories, figure out the route to point X, getting info on a certain place, keeping up to date of the latest news, be in touch with friends and family, hear my music and so on. And more and more, this is all coming together in one device. Brilliant.

    Good luck with the research, and keep your readers here informed. I, for one, am very curious.


    1. Thank you, Arjan. Yes, I will keep posting about the project 🙂

      At the risk of sounding cheesy, it does feel that the mobile phone, and mobile internet in particular, has brought the world to us: So, you don’t need to call my house, you call me; I don’t need to go and buy the newspaper, it comes to my handset via RSS; …


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