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Who buys corporate software ?

When Ms. Rometty became chief executive in January 2012, she told her executive team that she wanted to improve -- "to rethink and reimagine" -- the experience of IBM's customers. This was motivated partly by a shift in how businesses were buying technology.

As more purchased software as a service over the Internet, buying decisions were often being made by workers in functional departments -- human relations, sales, marketing and data analytics -- rather than by a central corporate information technology office. In this new market, software that was tailored to workers' needs and could be used without technical help from IT employees would win the day.

Software developers are just as important as customers to IBM, since both groups create markets. "We wanted to redefine IBM for developers," said Damion Heredia, an IBM vice president who leads the Bluemix operation.


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