The deal, which forms part of IBM’s efforts to bolster its automation technology capabilities, could be valued at between $4.5bn and $5bn, the sources said.
Currently, Vista Equity Partners, a private equity company, owns Apptio.
A Vista representative declined to comment and no immediate comment was available from IBM representatives.
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier that the two parties are in advanced negotiations and a deal could be announced soon.
Set up in 2007, Apptio offers a cloud-based platform that delivers actionable financial and operational insights to help businesses make informed decisions, the company states on its website.
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The deal, if signed, would come after IBM’s 2019 $34bn acquisition of software business Red Hat and its $1.5bn-plus acquisition of software provider Turbonomic in 2021.
IBM CEO Arvind Krishna, who took control of the company in 2020, stated last month that the technology giant is still keen on acquisitions, but these are likely to be smaller than the Red Hat deal.
Earlier this month, IBM said it will set up a Europe-based quantum data centre, which is expected to be operational next year.
The data centre will be located at IBM’s facility in Ehningen, Germany, and will act as IBM Quantum’s European cloud area.