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CRN: Considering you were the IBM CIO, what advice would you give partners [about] where they should be selling into an organization? There's a lot of talk about the relevance of IT [management] and people going around them. From your perspective, do you think there are other opportunities for business partners who traditionally engaged with IT to engage with line-of-business?
Hennessy: I've actually looked at it from a number of perspectives within IBM, [including] the CIO's. I think CIOs, in their own organizations, are desperate to reduce the amount of resources they spend on running or managing their existing infrastructure and systems. So, partners who can bring a compelling case to simplify and reduce implementation and management costs for CIOs will have immediate access. And once they do that, then they gain the confidence of the CIO and gain access to help where CIOs really want to spend their money. They want to reduce what they spend on run and increase what they're spending on transformation and innovation and new capabilities. I think partners that can articulate that message and that capability will be very successful.
So, going directly to the CIO and into the IT organization? I still think there's an absolute ton of opportunity there.
I also believe that partners, whether they're focused on particular solution areas or industry, that can articulate real business value and very specific business outcomes are going to get very good access to the line-of-business executives.
A lot of people believe that in the not-too-distant future, chief marketing officers will control as much of the IT spend as chief information officers. There's so much data that is so rich in value; partners who can help the chief marketing officers see that value and leverage will get an immediate audience, and they will have good access, and CIOs will embrace that. The same is true around the CFO, as an example. We talked about dashboards and those kinds of capabilities that are absolutely critical for business management, for governance, for regulatory requirements.