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Explore the Secrets of IBM Software Contracts to Optimize Spend and Reduce Compliance Risk

Learn the essential steps to avoid overspending or failing an IBM audit.

  • IBM customers want to make effective use of their paid-up licenses to avoid overspending and stay compliant with agreements.
  • Each IBM software product is subject to different rules.
  • Clients control and have responsibility for aligning usage and payments. Over time, the usage of the software may be out of sync with what the client has paid for, resulting in either overspending or violation of the licensing agreement.
  • IBM audits software usage in order to generate revenue from non-compliant customers.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • You have a lot of work to do if you haven’t been paying attention to your IBM software.
  • Focus on needs first. Conduct and document a thorough requirements assessment. Well-documented needs will be your core asset in negotiation.
  • Know what’s in IBM’s terms and conditions. Failure to understand these can lead to major penalties after an audit.
  • Review your agreements and entitlements quarterly. IBM may have changed the rules, and you have almost certainly changed your usage.

Impact and Result

  • Establish clear licensing requirements.
  • Maintain an effective process for managing your IBM license usage and compliance.
  • Identify any cost-reduction opportunities.
  • Prepare for penalty-free IBM audits.

Explore the Secrets of IBM Software Contracts to Optimize Spend and Reduce Compliance Risk Research & Tools

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read this Executive Brief to understand why you need to invest effort in managing usage and licensing of your IBM software.

1. Review terms and conditions for your IT contract

Use Info-Tech’s licensing best practices to avoid the common mistakes of overspending on IBM licensing or failing an IBM audit.

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About Info-Tech

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We produce unbiased and highly relevant research to help CIOs and IT leaders make strategic, timely, and well-informed decisions. We partner closely with IT teams to provide everything they need, from actionable tools to analyst guidance, ensuring they deliver measurable results for their organizations.

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your IT problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

Need Extra Help?
Speak With An Analyst

Get the help you need in this 2-phase advisory process. You'll receive 6 touchpoints with our researchers, all included in your membership.

Guided Implementation 1: Managing IBM contracts
  • Call 1: Engage in a scoping call
  • Call 2: Assess and improve statement of recordkeeping
  • Call 3: Improve IBM contract negotiation

Guided Implementation 2: Responding to an imminent audit from IBM
  • Call 1: Get ready for an imminent audit
  • Call 2: Review IBM draft audit for possible improvements
  • Call 3: Develop a plan to avoid negative audit results


Scott Bickley

Andy Woyzbun


  • Brian Gross, Canyon Consulting Inc., New York, NY
  • Bruno Pistillo, Manager, Enterprise System Products I&T Division, City of Toronto
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