ServiceNow vs Jira Service Management | The best ITSM Platform

ServiceNow vs Jira Service Management: Comprehensive ITSM Platform Battle

Published datePublished: Feb 1, 2024 ViewsViews: 451
Vikas Kaushik

Vikas Kaushik

Vikas manages the Global Operations at TechAhead and is responsible for TechAhead’s growth, global expansion strategy, and ensuring customer delight.
ServiceNow vs Jira Service Management: Comprehensive ITSM Platform Battle

Selecting the right ITSM platform for your organization often boils down to ServiceNow vs Jira Service Management. Each offers distinct features and capabilities tailored to different business needs. This direct comparison gives you the critical insights to discern which platform will best support your IT operations, factoring in scalability, cost-effectiveness, and user experience.

Key Takeaways

  • ServiceNow offers a comprehensive SaaS ITSM platform suitable for all sizes of businesses, with specialties in ITSM, ESM, ITOM, and ITBM. Jira Service Management focuses on high-velocity ITSM and collaboration, with a user-friendly interface, agile development support, and licensing options that allow customers to interact with service teams without additional fees.
  • Both platforms provide robust features for incident management, request fulfillment, problem management, change management, SLA management, and configuration management. ServiceNow stands out with AI-powered insights and an ITIL-aligned user experience designed for scalability. At the same time, Jira leans on collaboration and ease of use with flexible and transparent pricing options.
  • Integration and extensibility are critical for ITSM platforms, which feature well-documented APIs and extensive third-party support. ServiceNow is more enterprise-oriented, with scalable ITSM packages, and Jira Service Management caters to businesses of various sizes, including those with remote teams and moderate ITSM needs.

ServiceNow and Jira Service Management: A Side-by-Side Overview

ServiceNow and Jira Service Management: A Side-by-Side Overview

ServiceNow and Jira Service Management are both comprehensive ITSM platforms, offering a range of features and functionalities for businesses of all sizes.

ServiceNow, viewed as the gold standard in the ITSM industry, offers a comprehensive ITSM SaaS platform which includes capabilities for:

  • IT service management (ITSM)
  • Enterprise service management (ESM)
  • Operations management (ITOM)
  • IT business management (ITBM)

Both Jira Service Management and Jira Service excel in project management and tracking, supporting agile development and project management as their core functionality. Both platforms provide core features for:

These features cater to diverse service teams and ITIL processes.

Understanding ServiceNow’s ITSM Ecosystem

ServiceNow’s ITSM solution focuses on:

  • Aligning IT practices with organizational goals
  • Enhancing IT service delivery by managing equipment configurations, handling service interruptions, and automating workflows to meet business needs
  • Integrating various facets of IT assets, focusing on lifecycle management
  • Bringing together different departments for effective ITAM

Its scalability and adaptability make it suitable for businesses that foresee growth and change, underpinned by a philosophy of keeping customer needs at the forefront.

Exploring Jira Service Management Offerings

Jira Service Management, a rebrand of the ITSM tool Jira Service Desk, now includes capabilities from other Atlassian products such as OpsGenie and Halp. It offers dedicated project and issue-tracking solutions, fostering high-velocity ITSM and business team collaboration with its ITSM software.

One of its key features is the ability of customers to interact with service teams without a license and submit requests through multiple channels such as portals, email, or widgets, thereby improving customer service and fostering better customer interactions using a cloud-based service desk. This service desk invests heavily in providing seamless communication and support for its users.

Critical Evaluation: Features and Functionalities

Critical Evaluation: Features and Functionalities

A detailed examination of both ServiceNow and Jira Service Management reveals strong incident management capabilities in each platform. ServiceNow has a calculated priority system, embedded workflows for major incidents, and AI-powered insights. On the other hand, Jira emphasizes collaboration and context for incident resolution and includes ITIL-certified workflows.

In terms of request fulfillment, Jira Service Management provides streamlined workflows from creation to resolution, while ServiceNow maintains a single system of record for tracking the impacts. Such features contribute to their prowess as leading ITSM platforms.

Incident and Change Management Showdown

Regarding incident and change management, each platform demonstrates its distinctive advantages. ServiceNow offers the following tools and features to simplify the change process:

  • AI-driven data flows
  • Risk assessment calculator
  • Approval policies
  • Conflict scheduling
  • Change Advisory Board Workbench

These tools help streamline the change management process and enhance efficiency.

On the other hand, Jira Service Management offers the following features:

  • Ensures that teams can meet SLAs
  • Provides a detailed incident management process from diagnosis to closure
  • Includes options such as major incident alerts and a dedicated Slack channel to enhance team response and coordination during incidents
  • Improves collaboration and reduces complexity

Diving into Request Fulfillment and Problem Solving

Even with divergent methodologies, both platforms show proficiency in request fulfillment and problem-solving. Jira Service Management seamlessly implements the ITIL framework through its service management functionalities. These functionalities include self-service portals, service-level agreements (SLAs), and queues.

On the other hand, ServiceNow’s automation features can automatically assign issues to teams, close old support tickets, and reopen issues upon customer comments on closed issues, thus streamlining the problem-solving process.

User Experience and Interface Comparison

User Experience and Interface Comparison

The user experience and interface of an ITSM platform can significantly impact its ease of use and adoption. ServiceNow, designed with an enterprise look that focuses heavily on ITIL, may appear more complex, especially for new users. Conversely, Jira Service Management’s user interface is described as intuitive and suitable for IT professionals across various business types.

While ServiceNow offers a robust ITIL-aligned user experience, it may be less accessible to smaller companies, which contrasts with the more universally approachable design of Jira Service Management.

The Learning Curve for New Users

The learning curve for novices can significantly impact the adoption rate of an ITSM platform. ServiceNow’s extensive ITIL focus and enterprise orientation might pose a steeper learning curve. However, it does provide extensive documentation, opportunities for hands-on practice, and a supportive community, all of which contribute to easing the learning curve for new users.

On the other hand, Jira Service Management, with its user-friendly interface and less steep learning curve, is particularly appealing to small to mid-sized businesses.

Customizing Your ITSM Solution

Flexibility to customize ITSM solutions is vital as it allows businesses to adapt the system to their unique requirements. ServiceNow enables customization through UI Policies and other built-in tools that meet specific business needs without changing the baseline code.

Jira Service Management allows customization of help centers and service portals for each service project, aligning with organizational requirements. These features enable businesses to achieve a more structured ITSM solution that caters to their unique business processes.

Pricing Structures and Hidden Costs

Pricing is an important consideration when deciding on an ITSM platform. Jira Service Management offers several pricing plans, including a Free plan for up to 3 agents, Standard and Premium subscription tiers, and the possibility of extending the 7-day trial to 30 days. Its pricing model stands out due to its transparency, with no hidden fees or expiring discounts.

On the other hand, ServiceNow provides a custom quote based on a business value assessment, requiring potential clients to engage with representatives to understand the flexible pricing that accommodates various organizational needs. It’s worth noting that small to mid-sized businesses must carefully evaluate these options, including the transparent pricing model, to avoid the potential accumulation of hidden costs such as extra plugins and modules.

Integration and Extensibility in the Spotlight

Integration and Extensibility in the Spotlight

For businesses aiming to optimize their ITSM platform’s utility, integration and extensibility are essential factors to consider. Both ServiceNow and Jira Service Management offer well-documented APIs for building add-ons and integrations. ServiceNow’s architecture allows for both basic and advanced integrations, featuring Web Services, JDBC, LDAP, and other protocols, as well as supporting bi-directional data-level integration with Direct, Mapped, and Scripted Web Services.

On the other hand, Jira Service Management offers the following features for improved collaboration and streamlined operations, making it a great choice for those looking into Jira Work Management as well:

  • Integration with messaging platforms like Slack and Microsoft Teams for notifications
  • Support for webhooks for triggering automation
  • Outgoing web request actions for API interactions

These features facilitate improved collaboration and streamlined operations.

Well-documented APIs and Third-Party Assistance

Comprehensive APIs and assistance from third parties can considerably improve an ITSM platform’s ability to integrate and extend. The Jira Service Management Cloud REST APIs are designed for developers to integrate with other applications or for administrators to automate workflows and processes. It supports OAuth for authentication, with OAuth 2.0 authorization code grants for integrations not using Atlassian Connect.

On the other hand, ServiceNow enables a wide range of integrations through its well-documented APIs, thus promoting seamless connections with other tools and systems.

From Plugins to Partner-Delivered Solutions

Expanding the functionality of an ITSM platform with plugins and partner solutions can greatly increase its usefulness. ServiceNow’s ecosystem is enriched by its partnership programs like ServiceNow Store and ServiceNow Share, which together have contributions from over 250 partners for app, component, and integration development.

On the other hand, Jira Service Management extends its ITSM capabilities through a wide array of over 600 plugins available in the Atlassian Marketplace, including the Jira software extension. These features allow businesses to tailor their ITSM solution to their specific needs.

Scaling and Growth Potential

Scaling and Growth Potential

The long-term suitability of an ITSM platform for a business can be greatly influenced by its scalability and growth potential. ServiceNow, designed for scale and performance, is more suitable for complex ITSM demands. It offers scalable ITSM packages such as Standard, Professional, and Enterprise, which accommodate businesses at different stages of growth.

Conversely, Jira Service Management’s Data Center version is tailored for large enterprises, with horizontal scalability, high availability, built-in failover capabilities, and clustering for uninterrupted service. Its Cloud version supports remote collaboration with flexibility, catering to businesses of various sizes and those with remote teams. Jira Service Management is recognized for its nimbleness, allowing for quick implementation and scalability, which can be advantageous for teams with moderate ITSM needs.

Workflow Automation and Self-Service Portals

Workflow Automation and Self-Service Portals

Efficient ITSM heavily relies on workflow automation and self-service portals. Jira Service Management offers no-code workflow automation, utilizing intuitive dropdown style sequencing for creating automation rules. It also integrates a knowledge base powered by Confluence into its self-service portal, providing resources for agents and customers.

On the other hand, ServiceNow features a more extensive automation hub with capabilities like built-in Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and IntegrationHub. Its robust workflow automation and self-service capabilities contribute to unburdening IT staff by over 50% and enhancing IT productivity through fast AI-powered resolutions.

Asset and Configuration Management Face-off

Key aspects of ITSM include asset and configuration management. ServiceNow’s configuration management includes a discovery plugin for network exploration and identification of infrastructure component interdependencies, while Jira Service Management’s Assets focus on visibility into dependencies to manage assets and configuration items effectively. Both platforms offer robust asset tracking features; ServiceNow provides a comprehensive timeline of all changes to assets and CIs, while Jira’s Assets Discovery feature helps keep asset information up-to-date and supports planning, audits, and compliance requirements.

These features contribute to efficient asset and configuration management, thereby enhancing overall ITSM performance.

Knowledge Management and Collaboration

Effective ITSM necessitates efficient knowledge management and collaboration. Jira Service Management uses Confluence as the core software for knowledge management, ensuring that collaboration is tightly integrated between development and IT operation teams via Jira Software.

On the other hand, ServiceNow offers a comprehensive Knowledge Management feature, which includes:

  • Creating articles in the context of work
  • Managing feedback and article maintenance through group ownership
  • Staying informed on updates by subscribing to knowledge bases and articles

These features foster improved collaboration and efficient knowledge management, enhancing the overall ITSM experience.

Platform Updates and Support

To remain competitive in the fast-moving IT industry, ITSM platforms must offer dependable support and stay current with the latest features. ServiceNow maintains this standard by releasing two major updates annually, while Jira Service Management provides frequent updates to its clients even after migration.

Additionally, Jira offers Long-term Support releases that provide critical security updates and bug fixes, which benefit customers who upgrade less frequently. These best practices ensure that organizations have access to the latest enhancements and a secure platform for their day-to-day operations.

Making the Choice: When to Invest in Which Platform?

Making the Choice: When to Invest in Which Platform?

The selection between ServiceNow and Jira Service Management hinges on multiple factors such as business size, ITSM requirements, and organizational objectives. Jira Service Management is commonly utilized by SMBs and enterprises, while ServiceNow typically serves mid-sized businesses and enterprises. ServiceNow is suited for organizations with complex ITIL processes and a need for numerous software features, representing a significant commitment.

A collaborative decision-making approach incorporating insights from the central IT team and key Line-of-Business leaders is essential when choosing the right platform. Engaging with service partners for guidance is also advised for enterprises during the decision-making process of ITSM platform investments.

Small to Mid-Sized Business Considerations

It is vital for small to mid-sized businesses to select an ITSM solution that matches their current process maturity. They should consider an ITSM tool that can:

  • Adapt ITIL best practices to their unique operational needs
  • Scale and evolve their processes as the business grows
  • Encompass a comprehensive approach if they plan to expand their ITSM project to include business services beyond IT.

Real user experiences and references often provide more actionable insights than generic analyst reports during the ITSM tool evaluation process. It’s important for small to mid-sized businesses to foster a long-term partnership with ITSM vendors that understand their business and can offer tailored support.

For smaller businesses looking for a rapid deployment of their ITSM solution, Jira Service Management is recommended.

Enterprise-Level Decision Making

ServiceNow is better suited for:

  • Enterprises with extensive needs and complex ITSM demands
  • Organizations that require dedicated cloud services
  • Businesses that need a single codebase across solutions for seamless operations, security, and controlled IT environments.

Maintaining clarity in company purpose and culture is essential when scaling ITSM solutions like ServiceNow, ensuring alignment with company goals and direction. Leveraging talent for ServiceNow implementation and enhancements is crucial, with system integrators growing their capabilities to support enterprise ITSM needs.


To sum up, both ServiceNow and Jira Service Management provide robust ITSM solutions, each with its own unique strengths. ServiceNow is well-suited for businesses with complex ITIL processes and extensive requirements, offering a comprehensive ITSM SaaS platform. Meanwhile, Jira Service Management’s user-friendly interface and more manageable learning curve make it particularly attractive to small and medium-sized enterprises. Ultimately, the choice between the two depends on your organization’s specific needs and objectives. By understanding the features, functionalities, and key differences between these two platforms, you can make an informed decision that aligns with the ITSM requirements of your organization.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Jira be used for Service Management?

Yes, Jira Service Management (JSM) can be used as an IT service management (ITSM) tool for companies looking to optimize and formalize how their IT teams deliver IT services to employees and customers. JSM provides everything needed for incident, change, and problem management.

Is ServiceNow a Service Management tool?

Yes, ServiceNow is a Service Management tool that offers a cloud-based solution for managing digital workflows within a unified platform, including IT Service Management (ITSM). ServiceNow provides a modern and silo-busting approach to service management.

Is Jira Service Management ITIL compliant?

Yes, Jira Service Management is ITIL-compliant, offering essential features and configurations approved by ITIL.

Is Jira better than ServiceNow?

When considering project management platforms, it is important to weigh the costs and benefits of various options. For small to mid-sized businesses, Jira may be a cost-effective choice, whereas larger organizations may prefer ServiceNow. Consider your organization’s size and needs when choosing between the two platforms.

What are the key differences between ServiceNow and Jira Service Management?

The key differences between ServiceNow and Jira Service Management lie in their target users and interface design. ServiceNow is geared towards complex ITSM demands, while Jira Service Management is more user-friendly and appeals to small to mid-sized businesses.

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