Transformational technologies are a small view

It seems to me that new technologies such as cloud, social media, or mobile personal computing, are seen as much more transformational by some of us in IT. I suspect that is because of our industry's fixation with technology at the cost of people and process.

We are having a torrid debate on this blog over "Social ITSM". Let's not re-litigate that here. But let's look at the more general case of why things such as social media send some analysts (and vendors) into paroxysms of excitement over how this is going to change everything and you better grok it or perish... yet others like me see it as quite interesting really and something we better do something about at some point.

Putting aside the fact that vendors will talk up a new version of Windows as if it was the second coming if it will sell a few more boxes for them, there are plenty of genuine people falling to their knees before the bright light when all I can see is an odd-shaped stain on the wall.

Since some friendships are becoming strained over this disconnect, I have pondered it. I have a theory.

If you see IT as only technology (and information kept on that technology) then something like cloud or virtualisation looks like quite a big change.

And if you see IT as even smaller: only the technology you touch as a user, then mobile computing, BYOD, tablets and micro-apps look huge.

But most readers of this blog know that there is far more to IT than information or technology. The information and technology are useless dead lumps without the people and process and business and partner and service and value and governance aspects of IT to bring them to life.
When you look at IT in this broader context, then the fact that you now access a business process through a little bit of metal in your hand instead of a big bit of metal on your desk shrinks to its proper perspective: mildly interesting.

When you look at all the considerations for service delivery, the fact that some users now talk to each other on a forum to get mis-information instead of getting it from some underpaid hack on the service desk is just an existing issue to be dealt with in a new location, not a tsunami of biblical proportions.

There are some more serious issues to address from new technologies:

The fact that vendors of cloud services and SaaS tools are seducing business managers into violating corporate policies by signing their own IT contracts is a governance issue that Boards need to stamp on before somebody takes their company down. And in the meantime IT needs to do some serious discovery and policing. These maverick business units are like children who have run away from home: you need to find them fast and keep them alive until you can get them back home safe behind locked doors.

Or another issue: some companies will of course embrace the fact that users communicate on channels outside the company so their is nothing to subpoena, but others are of course tearing their hair out over the security nightmare this presents (there's a reason so many companies stuck to Blackberry for so long). Yup, that's an issue.

Another issue is that cloud services and virtualisation are transforming how we manage IT infrastructure. In future, the staff operating the infrastructure will spend less time trolling logs and tweaking configurations, and more time integrating third-party services, managing service contracts, planning future capacity, and strategising availability. Most of them are hopelessly underskilled for this. We have a people problem in IT ops.

But these aren't the transformations that get the analysts all fizzy. Apparently all our processes will change and the service desk is dead. As I said on another blog post, I well recall all the bullsh1t around how the internet was going to transform business and the apocalyptic predictions for those who didn't drop everything and embrace the "digital economy". It nearly collapsed the world economy. The fact is that the internet changed little about how business is conducted (except in selected industries) and changed next to nothing about how ITSM is conducted. Today's talk sounds unsettlingly similar.

let's take a simple example: Incident Management. A service is interrupted. We need to restore the service. How much of the Incident Management process will change because we hear about the incident when somebody tweeted about it or some users were bitching on a website? Are the users going to restore the service themselves? Nope. Not unless the fault is on their end-user mobile platform, in which case they can help each other and it's one less call for the service desk.

i certainly need to refocus my Business Relationship Management, as ITIL 2011 would call it, to go tap into those conversations and provide some user education before they lead each other over the cliff. but is the way I record, analyse and resolve the incident gonna change? Nope. Quiet up the back! Just because the techoes twiddle and tweet on some dinky internal comms tool instead of using email, the phone or turning round and talking to each other - that doesn't change the process. I've spent years trying to get the sods to communicate via the ticketing tool so we have a trail instead of emailing, so guess how pleased I'll be if they are doing it on ButtBook. Sure it is cool when the tool vendor provides a twiddle-tweeter for them integrated with the ticketing. That makes me feel better about proper records but does that change the process? Nope. Just the comms channels.

or another example: Change Management. I'm told that CM will be radically transformed now that everything will be outsourced to external providers. I'm not sure how. Let's imagine our SaaS provider is upgrading us to a new version. let's look at the key concerns of operational Change Management:

  • manage risk
  • minimise impact
  • succeed the first time
  • ensure all stakeholders get sufficient notice and information

Any of that change? Nope.
How about the key process steps?

  • record the change
  • review, asses and categorise it
  • determine who needs to approve it
  • evaluate it
  • get the appropriate owner(s) to authorise it
  • communicate the decision
  • plan the change
  • coordinate change implementation (don't let the vendors sell you this crap about how a version upgrade takes no work on your part; gonna let the users find the new system the next morning without support and coaching? Think it won't need a new version of the browser, Java ...? most of all will it change the business procedure and work instructions in any way?)
  • go into recovery mode when the change all turns to custard
  • review and close change

Perhaps I'm thick but I don't see any of those steps going away or even changing much. Sure you are going to need Supplier Management and SLM like you never needed them before. But changing Change? Nope.

I apologise that I'm overworked right now so this post isn't as crafted and structured as I would like, but I hope you see my point. These technologies only look enormous if you are taking a small view.


things-oriented and actions-oriented

One reason why we get these rabid anti-ITSM types ranting against ITIL:

There are two kinds of people: things-oriented and actions-oriented (not "action oriented"). Many IT types tend to be things-oriented. To them, focusing on activities seems to be unnecessary and obvious and annoying. The world is made of things. Deliver the thing and your job is done: developers deliver software, operations techs deliver infrastructure. Performance, quality, fit for purpose, user satisfaction etc are supposed to be emergent properties of the things, which just happen... somehow.

Transformational Technologies Expose the ITIL Ponzi Scheme

“the fact that some users now talk to each other on a forum to get mis-information instead of getting it from some underpaid hack on the service desk”

Shame! There is a really good and vibrant source of knowledge on the Internet regarding the resolution of the specific problems that may have impacted normal operations.

The beauty of the Internet “crowd” resource as opposed to our “Helpdesk” is that the crowd resource are technologically skilled enthusiasts who have taken the time out of their very busy day jobs to share some knowledge and insight with their community. To denigrate this resource is shameful.

“Another issue is that cloud services and virtualisation are transforming how we manage IT infrastructure…Most of them are hopelessly underskilled for this. We have a people problem in IT ops.”

Damn right. And the Sad thing about this is that it is ITIL the Root-Cause which has led us into this situation.

ITIL exists purely to enable people wholly unqualified and lacking core skills in Information Technology to oversee IT Management practice. (In other-words, letting the mediocre out of their cage. And what happens when you let the mediocre out of their cage? They bring in other mediocre resources so that their authority cannot be challenged, they purge the knowledgeable who can see that the emperor is not wearing any clothes, and they create pin badges [Maturity etcetera] that proclaim their relative merit and position in the land of the blind).

Now, calling the Cloud transformational is a little bit of a stretch from where we sit. The Cloud is simply Outsourcing with no Service Level commitments, measurements and no fault or performance management information.

What is transformational (as you point out) is the use of the Cloud by lines of business and departments who have a business need to be agile and react to the markets they trade in, having to deal with either restrictive “just say no” ITIL practices, or outsourced service providers who require a 6 month service definition and contract negotiation before provisioning of the new service can even begin!

The Cloud puts the power over IT back into the hands of the business and away from the protectionists. Has any one noticed that IT departments (including outsourcers) that pray to the God of ITIL have become the modern equivalent of the Print Workers, Miners and the other closed shop, core trades that stymied innovation? It’s time for us to fight back against these commercially limiting practices.

Just like those Dinosaurs, the bi-product of empowering protectionist practices is that they fail to reward innovation, change and difference. Standardization kills progress and stifles the ability to capitalize business opportunity and competitive advantage.

James Finister made some great points (below) and here is our perspective on those great points:

- Does ITIL process definition only become universally valid at a level of abstraction that is of little practical use?

We give an emphatic “Yes!!!”. ITIL process should give guidance – afterall, specific processes will be different in every case, and procedures will be fundamentally different. Frankly we’ve always been concerned with the fact that ITIL ignores procedure totally. If it offered guidance at the procedural level, with best practices that could be shared between organizations when dealing with specific types of equipment or scenarios, then that would be useful.

- Do the ITIL process definitions provide us with guidance that can be applied across a very complex multi channel supply/value network

No, of course not. The Dinosaur really has not woken up yet. If it had, it would have guidance for how to work with managed and unmanaged Outsourcing (oops, we mean “Cloud”).

- Is the ITIL process ontology actually right? Has Incident Management: The Process always been a red herring?

Well, when you look at it, the only important process is Incident Management, because it is the only process that can offer meaningful measurement and “operations staff” performance profiling.

- Does ITIL try and give closed world answers to open world questions? (Thanks to Charlie Betz for that one)

ITIL gives NO answers at all. It was originally a set of guidelines defined so that non-IT literate UK Government resources could understand what is required in the management of their IT Infrastructures to ensure that their squeaky bottoms were not exposed.

ITIL has always been about cover my a&$s and not about effective management. What’s insidious is how the vendor community has used ITIL as a method to generate ever increasing revenues without introducing effective new technology, and has used the increases in the costs of managing IT as a business case for Accountants to be hoodwinked into IT Service Management Outsourcing contracts which are detrimental to all stakeholders involved.

- Does ITIL presume, in reality, that 99% of the process lies within the direct control of the internal IT department?

Clearly it has to. Afterall, ITIL is only concerned with the management of IT and not the management of the business.

Wake up people. Our specialists are being de-sexed, our jobs are being degraded and our businesses are rendered unable to react to their market opportunities by an ITIL culture, fighting to protect itself from exposure by not reacting to business demand and not embracing on-demand IT capacity, thereby pushing the excluded together.

(You’ll notice though that the sneaky TLA [two- and three- letter acronym] companies are waking up to the gulf between the business and the ITIL run IT department as an opportunity to market “Managed Cloud” to the business through the IT department…slap me…isn’t that Outsourcing with a different name?).

Interestingly though, a number of our ITILosaurus collective members have discussed that their companies are now building their own internal Clouds, where they can turn on capacity on demand. They report though that there is a gap in Incident and Configuration Management technology able to offer effective fault isolation and ‘rolled up’ service configuration management.

technology change - a picture

A graphic from my upcoming presentation in South Africa at the SMEXA'12 conference


maybe another factor I overlooked in this post is that you have to be an optimist about technology to work in IT, else you'd have topped yourself long ago.

To transform or not to transform...

"...Perhaps I'm thick but I don't see any of those steps going away or even changing much. Sure you are going to need Supplier Management and SLM like you never needed them before. But changing Change? Nope."

I think some of this is semantic. If the responsibilities and activities of the IT department are radically changed as a result of outsourcing or the cloud or other so-called transformational technologies, then that is still transformational. Of course the ITSM principles and practice remain intact - services are still being provided to the business whatever the combination of providers - but I think whilst ultimate accountability [for service quality] largely remains intact too the management and perhaps ownership of ITSM processes will move to the right and probably outside the IT department. One might call this transformation, it's certainly undergoing a transition.

I think the Internet brought a similar if less transformational change to IT, independent of its impact on the business itself. Again, ITSM principles don't change even if the business requirements did, but - from the relative simplicity of widening the input channels the Servicedesk is required to accommodate to the deeper complexity of a game-changing security challenge - there is a fundamental response required that might require a different set of skills, a different number of resources, etc.

The quote above acknowledges this. Governance becomes a greater emphasis, supplier management and SLM come to the fore. IT is less concerned by the practicalities of incident and change management and more by their outcomes. I'm sure there's no harm in IT becoming a customer...

I'm broadly in support of the post though, primarily because having been part of an implementation of ITIL-based SLM and Supplier Management for a non-IT need (in a national bank in the middle east) I'm persuaded ITIL's ontology is fundamentally sound (weaknesses in its expression acknowledged). Out of the book is rarely successful, of course, but approaching it from the business perspective makes the chances of success in a complex multi-player environment considerably greater.


The start of a long thread....

Might as well get my first shot in.

First of all I'll take you to task on a key point. I think you are totally off target about why a bunch of us who post here have taken a different line to you. I'm not saying your points are valid for many who are talking up cloud and SocMed as a career move, but you are debating with people who get governance, who get outside-in, and above all get the people issue. We also, at least most of us, aren't shouting from the rooftops because we've got something to sell (OK some of us have, but they are pretty open about that) but because we see these changes as posing a threat to the complacent IT department.

You know its funny, actually, I remember back in the early nineties being met with a similar response when we tried to warn internal IT departments about the threat of wholesale outsourcing. Now I work for an outsourcing company with 200k plus employees which suggests that threat turned out to be pretty real.

The truth is that most of those you are setting up agree with so much of what you are saying.

If I wanted to hype something up to sell it would be "In future, the staff... will spend less time trolling logs and tweaking configurations, and more time integrating third-party services, managing service contracts, planning future capacity, and strategising availability. Most of them are hopelessly underskilled for this. " Why? Because that is what I sell. By the way I've taken out the one bit you've got wrong - don't mistake the people doing those things for ops staff, you are talking about the role of a typical SM retained organisation, ops is 90% the preserve of suppliers. So I'll give you 9/10 for that.

Needless to say as one of the few vocal champions of ISO 38500 I'm going to give you 10/10 for highlighting the governance issue, because I believe that is going to become centre stage sooner rather than later.

So let's turn to the process question. I think the generic points many of us are beginning to explore again are these:

- Does ITIL process definition only become universally valid at a level of abstraction that is of little practical use/
- Do the ITIL process definitions provide us with guidance that can be applied across a very complex multi channel supply/value network/
- Is the ITIL process ontology actually right? Has Incident Management: The Process always been a red herring?
- Does ITIL try and give closed world answers to open world questions? (Thanks to Charlie Betz for that one)

Now all of those are valid questions without taking into account the potential impact of the transformational technologies, but those TTs provide some interesting test cases.

Now add in this one:

- Does ITIL presume, in reality, that 99% of the process lies within the direct control of the internal IT department?

That's the key question for me, and I think the answer is it does. The consequence of the changes we are talking about, especially when taken together, is that a significant proportion of these processes, and incident and change are two good examples, fall away from direct control by the IT department.

I'll give just one practical example. I'm seeing organisations trying to write contracts and SLAs with SaaS and public cloud providers that, if they are agreed to, are meaningless because they are written in obsolete terms or the vendor has no mechanism for measuring them at the level of the individual customer, or laughed at by the vendor who says "You get what you get. Welcome to the cloud" Yep, we're not in Kansas anymore.

James Finister

i'll keep it short then

what does closed vs open world mean?

At last!

Finally, I can completely disagree with you. I feel warm all over.

James Finister

meat and potatoes

OK a longer answer then :)

if I go charging into complex modern multi-party environments holding ITIL aloft and screaming "do it this way" will it work? Of course not.

If instead I analyse the business requirements and start composing a solution, will ITIL have anything to say that i can adopt and adapt, whatever the complexity or variations? will it have anything i can use to help frame the solution, to give a common language between parties, and to ensure i don't forget stuff? of course.

You know this stuff Jim, you preach it. i'm surprised to find us disagreeing. perhaps you and Aale have been around ITIL too long and just need time out. For heaven's sake don't dump ITIL for ISO38500 OK? It's a pretty face without a lot of substance - the relationship won't last. perhaps MOF, it has an unfortunate family background but seems to have a good heart. I know you've been messing around with ISO20000 - a bit "strict" I've heard, nudge nudge. But after you've wandered i like to think you'll come home to the meat and potatoes.

I missed the revolution

I must have missed the revolution, it seems Rob's on the inside of Castle ITIL and I'm out in the streets with the mob and the #OccupyITIL movement.

Just how much does ITIL have to say that helps me in the very meat and potatoes/curry and chapati world of TCS? Not a lot. And forget that common language red herring, because it breaks down across the complex supply chain - one man's urgent incident is another man's routine request. I'm trying to avoid getting dragged into food analogies - without thinking I originally wrote "meat and potatoes is our bread and butter" but in a way that is kind of apt

If I want real meat and potatoes I'll go to COBIT, or 20k though I know that will upset Aale.

Did I say dump ITIL for 38500? I don't think I did, and certainly not intentionally. I'm sure we've gone round this loop before but they have very distinct purposes. 38500 advises the business on how to govern IT, ITIL is about the internal management of IT, and possibly in some places the internal governance of IT. Of course another difference is a CXO might find time to read ISO 38500.

James Finister

because you are an expert

James, saying I'm inside Castle ITIL because I defend the usefulness of ITIL is like saying I'm part of Amazon because I'm pro-reading. You know I'm not and there are posts here to prove it.

ITIL doesn't have much to say to you because you are an expert. Perhpas you are losing sight of the value to someone far back on the ITSM journey

No you didn't say anythign about ISO38500 - I was jesting. It's part of the abhorrent nature of blog comments that sometimes one can't tell

The Expert Perspective

The flipside of being a supposed expert is that I have a fairly shrewd idea of which bits of ITIL are truly useful. Someone far back on the ITSM journey has to work out for themselves what has value, and that's where it can go horribly wrong. I see too many RFPs where a client throws in "all processes must follow ITIL" as their best stab at identifying ITSM process requirements.

James Finister

Technology and revolutions

Saw this in Time today. Interesting view on longer term effects of technology.

We’ve seen imbalances between commerce, government and other powerful institutions before. In each case, new technologies that increased communication and travel and changed the ways products were made disrupted the status quo. It happened during the Thirty Years’ War in Europe, when battles between church and state resulted in today’s world of nation-states. It happened during the Enlightenment, as new technologies of mass communication linked and elevated average people, enabling them to challenge monarchies. Later it helped undo the mercantile system and colonialism. Each of these phases was marked by unrest and uncertainty. And each came with philosophical ­revolutions, leading to the development of ideas like separation of church and state, the notion that the legitimacy of the state is linked to the consent of the governed, and the ideological contest between socialism and capitalism. It is still happening. High-speed transportation has made it possible to produce goods anywhere, communications technologies have created 24-hour global markets, and markets in cyberspace have moved beyond the reach of national tax laws or regulators.

Read more:

Revolutions happen when you can no longer feed your family

Interesting comment. Our view on our "transformational technology" opportunity in the current "Event, Incident and Problem Management" market exists not because the traditional technologies have had less and less investment by tyrant vendors. We don't overthrow your Dictator just because they are not nice to us, we overthrown them when we can no longer feed our families. The Singular processes that the legacy Service Management tools underpin do not offer any value in modern infrastructures where Situational processes are required so, our tyrants, by increasing their taxes year on year without enabling us to generate any more value/savings, have forced us to a point where their economics not longer stack up.

In ITSM parlance, our resources are so tight that it is an absolute stretch just to maintain the status quo. Improving our performance is impossible and yet demand is still increasing.

It is time for an Arab Spring event in the IT Service Management realm.

If Situational Service

If Situational Service Management becomes widely adopted it will generate demand for your product.
If your marketing is good, and people chase a promise of improved productivity by switching tools, without first addressing cultural and practice issues, then you'll also do well... for a while.
It is always time.for.revolution according to vendors. Burning platform, call to action, creating a sense of urgency: all standard Sales 101.

One day it really will be time for revolution and then all the vendors will be f**ked.

Situational Versus Singular Processes

ITSkeptic - one thing I missed in your response that I think shows you miss my point.

(Oh, and to all out there, I apologise for the shameless inclusion of my company name - I did mean to leave it out. I'm not looking for cheap marketing here, i'm looking to spark a discussion the obvious lack of assisted-orchestration by IT Service Management toolsets to the event, incident and problem management scenarios unleashed by the migration away from client-server to modern service delivery infrastructures).

In client server infrastructures: A Fault = Impact.

In modern infrastructures:
A Fault may = Impact, but it may not. If it does cause impact, it's likely to be catastrophic enough that isolation should be rather rapid. After all, modern infrastructures by implication are highly resilient and have adequate capacity.

More likely, the incidents we suffer (reported to the Helpdesk for example or, picked up by our application transaction monitors) are "performance degradations".

Infrastructure performance doesn't simply just degrade. These performance and capacity degradations are have causal memes. That is, there are "events" which occur and in combination lead to performance and capacity degradations.

Take this made up example: a load balancer has failed to balance, we have a warning message, but everything is still working and our ITSM staff are loaded with work...queue it up. Coincidentally a network mounted filesystem from one of our SANs has reached 85% of capacity and, the I/O load on one of our VM servers is near capacity. But it's OK, things are still working, users are not impacted.

Then Ben Bernanke makes a Fed announcement. He's going to buy Gold from Iran apparently (don't quote me on that!).

Consequently everyone jumps into the market...consequence:
- the market data apps look like they have failed (tcp retries and connection errors) - must be capacity of the trading system the apps Silo, looks like an I/O issue to the Compute Silo and a network capacity issue to the networks Silo
- the network mounted file system reaches capacity - looks like an app problem to the Compute Silo and looks like a SAN issue to the Storage guys

Now, this then becomes a major issue. Each silo works at it until they begin to comprehend (normally through customer / end user unhappiness) that the situation has a wide cast. So you then end up in major incident management. Long telephone calls with expensive resources engaged all trying to find the cause. There are Many causal elements.

Now, that's a major incident and it is easy to comprehend the multiple elements. We believe these to be few and far between, but that's just the point.

In modern service delivery infrastructures, end-user, business service or customer impact is caused by multiple coincident faults that degrade performance and capacity. The impact may be small, it may be large, but in the majority of times it is caused by multiple coincident faults.

When you combine that Law with the reality of modern IT Service Management departments, where they are severely resource constrained, the multiple causal elements of an incident are more often that not, never isolated. That is because there are often pre-existing faults which are in a queue of maintenance to be resolved (or not identified at all) all 'active' at any time, so, occurrences of one or more separate and apparently unrelated faults coincident with this pre-existing fault create the tipping point causing performance and capacity degradations.

The resolution of one of the singular coincident faults may resolve the impact or it may not. Resolutions occur more by accident than by organisation because these situations have not become major incidents and we work unaware of the relationships between faults. We may not even realise that a fault actually exists [Note: how many Netcool's or BEMs are set to auto-filter out "Warning" messages". If not filter out, as operators, we know that Blue is noise...we just don't see it! But some of these warning messages give us strong clues into the causal memes - especially where we have mixed infrastructures sharing local infrastructure, managed networks and unmanaged cloud services.

So, to end my rant...we're not managing Client Server any more, so we should be looking to manage our infrastructures from a Situational perspective and not a Singular perspective.

Only by taking a Situational Approach can we effectively and efficiently target our resources at resolving the real problems, or point the finger at our suppliers with a level of confidence.

Whether you like it or not Mr Skeptic, Situational is the new Black. This is not a marketing game, this is the reality for the people you claim to front. There needs to be a vendor community out there instrumenting technologies that facilitate a Situational approach rather than adding "social" to the existing Singular technologies! The processes do not need to change, the facilitation and orchestration needs to change.

Wake up and smell the coffee here. If IT Service Management is to maintain credibility with its customers then it needs to adopt strategies that enable it to increase the perception of its quality of service to its stakeholder customers. A Situational approach offers a strong footing.

(I'll not be offended if you do not post this!)


I'm awake

Mike, you can bang the drum all you want to make this sound exciting and different, but I took the time to read your long comment and i don't see a single thing new. You are talking about traditional ITSM: advanced ITSM I'll grant you but nothing that isn't covered in ITIL.

I assure you I'm awake. I've been awake to "situational" faults ever since I read this paper. Good RCA has always understood the complex interplay of multiple faults.

I'm all for better tools. When i have a problem resolution process that would be improved by some automation, I'll look at it.

lol - i'm all up for a bit of Anarchy...

I agree. Frankly we need some real "anarchy" out there - not anarchy as the press have re-defined it, mutual benefit driven cooperation and collaboration! And that's what we're all about and enabling!

Frankly, not all vendors are fixated solely on their bottom line, we do like to see our customer partners benefiting from our investment in innovating new technology (and enabling new process)!

milder and slower

Aale you are equating social change with change to commerce and service. there's no doubt about the social change that social media is causing.

But if you look at those Time examples I think you'll find business change was milder and slower, and service change was certainly not radical.

Time? I hadn't pcked you as a puppet of the American right's propaganda machine ;-D (JOKE ALERT)

Social Democrats

Living in Finland means that you live in a social democrat world, all parties are just different flavors of it (the real Social Democrats are suffering) but I suppose US Republicans would be horrified with the leftist views of our Conservatives. It is good to read something different also. I get Fortune and Wired too.

my window

For all that i hang it on the British, The Economist is my primary window on current affairs, so i'm not exactly a leftist myself.

Guilty as charged

Yep, agree 100% with @jimbofin here.

But I only started with ITIL in 2003 and for four years I did think it was mostly right and useful. From 2007 to 2010 I became more and more skeptic. Now I think that the ITIL V3 training and certification program is the worlds most successful scam operation.


the internet changed little

oops, I promised Jim I'd justify the statement I've now used twice:
"the internet changed little about how business is conducted (except in selected industries)"

This fits into the discussion about small views.

Modern industry was transformed by internationalisation between the wars and after WW2. It was also transformed by modern management thinking from Deming to Drucker. It changed a lot with the millennial bubble and the obsession with share price (...oops i mean "shareholder value").

Did it change much because of the internet? OK maybe "changed little" is hyperbole. Some industries such as travel agents, music, book-selling and broking will never be the same. Publishing is rocked to its foundations but not quite revolutionised yet.
But how much did the internet change the business principles, roles and processes of General Motors, Shell Oil, IKEA, Qantas, KMart, or my plumber? Some interesting things happened with marketing, customer loyalty, supply chain speed and so on, but revolution? I don't think so.

Syndicate content