IBM to enhance automation through $4.6B Apptio acquisition

IBM to enhance automation through $4.6B Apptio acquisition

Expected to bring to Big Blue US$450 billion worth of anonymised IT spend data.

Credit: Photo 19577771 © Tomasz Bidermann |

IBM is set to enhance its automation capabilities with the acquisition of software-as-a-service (SaaS) vendor Apptio in a deal worth US$4.6 billion.

Through the deal, IBM said Apptio will bring US$450 billion worth of anonymised IT spend data, claiming that it will, in turn, unlock insights for clients and partners.

"Technology is changing business at a rate and pace we've never seen before. To capitalise on these changes, it is essential to optimise investments which drive better business value and Apptio does just that," said Arvind Krishna, IBM CEO and chairman.

"Apptio's offerings combined with IBM's IT automation software and watsonx AI [artificial intelligence] platform, gives clients the most comprehensive approach to optimise and manage all of their technology investments." 

IBM also said that it plans to combine watsonx with Apptio’s anonymised finops data, while Apptio is expected to make use of IBM’s scale and reach.

Additionally, IBM also said combining Apptio with Big Blue’s performance optimisation and observability capabilities through its IT automation software, such as Turbonomic, Instana and AIOps, will create for its clients a “360-degree technology business management platform, providing a 'virtual command centre' for spend management and optimisation stretching across their entire technology landscape”.

IBM added that the acquisition follows its focus and investment in hybrid cloud and AI and is predicted to create “significant” synergies across a number of key growth areas, including automation, Red Hat, IBM's broader AI portfolio and IBM Consulting, as well as strengthening partnerships with other systems integrators such as Accenture, KPMG, Deloitte and EY.

If the deal is granted regulatory approvals and meets other closing conditions, the acquisition is expected to close by the end of 2023.

"Our customers are evolving to a complex digital-first, hybrid world where technology investments are distributed and decentralised but all innovation must be aligned with clear business outcomes," added Sunny Gupta, Apptio co-founder and CEO.

IBM’s plan to acquire Apptio comes a month after it snapped up application security start-up Polar Security to bolster its data security capabilities. 

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