Damian Beré

Mastering Digital

How Technology Leaders, Architects & Engineers build Digital Enterprises of the Future


Mastering Digital

The Book

The world is changing, and so should you.  Soon, there will no longer be “Tech Companies” - just “Companies”.  Ignore this new world, and it will ignore you.  

“Mastering Digital” provides a unified and adaptable approach for making systems and change really work in complex enterprise environments.  One that works now, in the future, and all the bits in between.  If you want to build the digital enterprises of the future and make a real difference in the world, this is the book for you.

“Mastering Digital” takes you on the journey from your potential to performance.  Along the way we'll create a clear and integrated set of models to deal with the complexity of building truly Digital Enterprises of the future, and introduce a practical methodology and architecture framework that you can gradually adopt and grow into as you evolve your digital systems capability.


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The Digital Enterprise

Software has become essential to our everyday lives - it runs our businesses, our social lives, our homes, even our health.  The modern enterprise succeeds or fails on its ability to use software based information systems to run its business and drive future innovation.  Never has it been easier to start a business and re-invent an entire industry.  So now, more than ever, businesses are betting their future on putting information systems at the heart of their business and building really great software products that people love.

But creating enterprise systems that scale is really hard; and changing systems you already have - especially to transition from an analog world to a digital one, is even harder.  And the more you try to do, the more complexity you begin to experience. Today, there is no silver bullet for building systems in complex enterprise environments. Instead each company, and often each project, has a varied assortment of disjointed puzzle pieces to try and fit together before they start delivering real value.  

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Whilst most companies are still struggling with the first wave of Digital Transformation to simply get their services online for users and focus on the customer experience, the second wave of Digital Automation is beginning to take a grip on our imaginations and lead us to truly understand the Enterprise as a System.  Soon, we will experience mass adoption of radical automation of both physical and administrative tasks through the pervasive use of modern robotics and artificial intelligence.  As the “Operator” roles in an enterprise become driven more and more by machines, humans will instead take on the roles of “Architects” and “Ambassadors”. 

With “Mastering Digital”, you can stop struggling with ‘how’ you make systems work, and focus on ‘what’ you are creating, and ‘why’ that is important.  “Mastering Digital” provides Technology Leaders, Architects and Engineers a definitive guide for creating enterprise systems that are predictable to build, highly adaptable to changing needs and completely integrated - from strategy to operations, and across technology & business. So that you can focus on creating really great systems that easily change with your ever evolving needs in this new Digital world.





In “Mastering Digital” we introduce a best practice approach for building adaptive enterprise systems that scale, using the Oxygen framework - giving you breathing room to grow.  

Oxygen is a breath of fresh air: We cut through the hype and the nonsense - we avoid slow, rigid, bureaucratic approaches, as much as we avoid the 'short-termism' of unplanned iteration and the painful chaos of bottom up evolution, by blending the needs of large scale complex enterprise systems with the agility of practical modern development. It is far too easy to be blinded by the continually changing trends and fads of the industry, and fixate on things like “doing Agile” rather than “being agile”, “features” rather than “solutions”, and live in a world made of “hype” rather than “hope”. In “Mastering Digital” we take a balanced approach that considers the entire system, so that we can get ideas into reality as quickly and effectively as possible, without compromising long term quality and viability of the Enterprise as a System.

The Oxygen framework focuses on 7 Capabilities in 3 Key Lifecycle Stages that will help you transition your enterprise into the new Digital world, and turn complicated & difficult to change solutions into a highly agile, adaptable and coherent enterprise system.

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The Character We ARE

For any enterprise to be truly successful, you need to share a common understanding of your core beliefs, and agree the expectations for what is considered normal and acceptable behaviour for the entire company. A set of principles that will help guide decisions consistently toward your shared values. So, this is where you begin.  It is your own manifesto, mandating the most fundamental characteristics of your enterprise systems - especially your people.



The Purpose We Share

Every Enterprise, Change Programme, Project, and Product needs a vision.  This is founded on your primary purpose, your why, your reason for doing any of this.  A clear vision of the future, based on this purpose, will make decisions easier, faster, and more effective, and will bring your teams together to achieve shared goals, not just their personal tasks.



Operating Model

The Vehicle For Change

A systematic approach that brings all of your people together in a consistent way so they can affect change efficiently and predictably.   It is this system of people, processes, information assets and tools that turns ideas into systems that work, and enables an organisation to scale from a small development team, to hundreds of interdependent teams working on large complex programmes of work.



The Systems Engine

This is the basis for building your software systems - from a single application, to an integrated enterprise landscape, and beyond.  You will learn how to create a delivery capability that produces results efficiently and reliably using the concept of a pre-fabricating factory model to deliver predictable results. 



The Agile Business

Structural and behavioural coherence and compatibility (which allow for pervasive interoperability) are critical factors in making complex systems work.  This is achieved with good architecture.  An evolving architecture you can iterate on quickly, that connects everyone in delivering technology and business solutions that can be continually adapted to meet the eternal demand for change




The Meaningful Experience

Connecting what you create, with who you create it for, and why they need it, really makes the difference in building systems that seem magical and loved by all.  Engagement with the key users/participants of the system clarifies the problem space.  However, these users are not designers.  It is your job to listen, understand, digest… and then decide how that affects your systems.  It's this process of truly understanding 'needs' over 'wants' that differentiates weak and strong products.



The Algorithms of Intelligence

The lifeblood of all systems, is data. Whether you are measuring your own performance, or storing user information, or processing complex datasets for analysis, you need to understand data - where it comes from, how you store and share it, how you process it, how it is consumed.  And most importantly, how you can leverage this to enable the system to become more intelligent and self-sufficient.


Masters Of Digital

Read some of the source interviews with the technology leaders that are building the Digital enterprises of the future. in full, over on the blog.


How a forward thinking CIO did the unthinkable, before he did the impossible


Paul Schwefer is a highly experienced technology executive, who has led technology organisations and major transformations for some of the world’s largest enterprises. The key to his success is a visionary approach to building enterprises ‘as systems’ with both structured, open and flexible architecture, and a focus on creating cultures and organisational behaviours that make change possible.


How this CIO integrates IT and Business at the board level to make Digital Transformation really work

Phil Smith is a seasoned technology leader with experience in digital transformation across a variety of sectors, in mid to large size organisations. Understanding both Technology and Business is the key to his success.


How this Head of Strategy & Innovation creates €100m business opportunities


Alexander Haege is an innovative technology executive with experience driving technology and business model innovations in large complicated organisations — helping them transform into modern Digital enterprises. The key to his success is in understanding how to adapt new innovations into practical real world applications.



Software Engineering Report

Mastering Digital:

The State of Software Engineering Report

The “Mastering Digital: Software Engineering Report” (2018) provides analysis of detailed feedback from Architects and Engineers about their work on software projects for organisations of all types and sizes.


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