A recent IBM Global CEO Study found half of local CEOs regard resellers as the best source of new technology ideas.
IBM business partner director, Scott Kardash, said the attitudes of local CEOs were driven by a variety of factors including time limitations and overall business size.
A global company might rely less on business partners in markets where it had large divisions, such as Europe or North America, while a local subsidiary would appreciate its partners more, he said.
"There is a huge opportunity for local business partners to become trusted advisors and convert requirements into solutions," Kardash said. "It's really about moving into the role of a consultant."
The channel had a unique insight into multiple businesses simultaneously, which surpassed the knowledge of in-house IT staff, he said. They best served customers by delivering business outcomes.
"Business partners need to see things from a client's point of view," he said.
"They can put forward the most technologically advanced solution but if it doesn't solve the problem there's no value in it."
IBM's study was conducted with 750 CEOs of major organisations across 20 industries, including 60 executives from Australia and New Zealand.