10 Legitimate Reasons an IBM License Audit Might Be Delayed

10 Legitimate reasons an IBM license audit might be delayed


You’ve received an unexpected notification of an IBM software license audit. The pressured is on from IBM and the auditor to kick off the audit promptly. But you don’t feel ready to start.

This article aims to highlight legitimate reasons an IBM license audit might need to be delayed.

Reasons an IBM License Audit Might Be Delayed

Below we have provided ten (10) common reasons an IBM license audit might be delayed. The list is not exhaustive but will provide ideas should you need to delay the start of an IBM license audit.

#1 Legal Department’s Detailed Review

Your legal department may need time to scrutinize audit clauses, seeking clarity on impacted entities, regions, products in scope, and the audit’s nature.

#2 Audit-Specific NDA Requirements

Crafting a license audit-specific Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) distinct from general NDAs with IBM and the auditor may take time for legal approval.

#3 Disruption to Business Operations

Postponing the audit might be necessary if it threatens significant disruption, such as during financial year-end or peak business periods like Christmas.

#4 Key Staff Unavailability

The IBM audit project will require specialized resources. They may not be readily available, particularly if systems management is outsourced.

#5 Extraordinary Conditions

Unforeseen events like mergers, acquisitions, security breaches, or natural disasters can warrant a delay.

#6 Review of Requested Data

The detailed and sensitive information requested by IBM auditors requires thorough review, including potential redaction and authorization for script or command usage.

#7 GDPR and PII Restrictions

Challenges may arise in accessing and collecting information related to IBM products linked to specific users or systems with sensitive data due to GDPR and PII restrictions.

#8 Auditor Conflict of Interest

You may need to assess if there’s a conflict of interest between your organisation and the nominated auditors. The IBM auditors may provide additional services to the organization that prevents them from supporting IBM also.

#9 Procurement Rules

Vendor audits may impact business competition, requiring a review to ensure the integrity of the bid process, potentially leading to a postponement.

#10 Process Delays

The inherent time required for initiating projects in large organizations, especially those that might span a considerable duration, can contribute to delays.


The timeline for an IBM license audit is ultimately under the client’s control. Despite the potential for delays, maintaining open communication with the auditor is crucial. Seize the opportunity to prepare, reduce risks, and mitigate the impact when the audit officially commences. Remember, your license auditor is likely to be flexible as long as there is ongoing communication and tangible progress.