Jira Service Management vs. ServiceNow: Comparison Guide
Our detailed comparison of ServiceNow vs. Jira Service Management covers each tool’s keys features, pros, and cons to help you determine which one is right for your business.
ServiceNow vs. Jira Service Management: The Ultimate Comparison
We spend a significant amount of time in the information technology industry talking about the constant evolution of hardware and network infrastructure. We spend even more time talking about the software that underpins and holds IT infrastructure together or provides businesses with powerful solutions to the problems we face in day-to-day operations. And increasingly over the last fifteen years, we’ve talked about the growing popularity of IT managed services. The managed services model has over the years evolved and expanded to encompass so many facets of the information technology landscape that service providers have had to pivot and shift client support platforms towards supporting the all-encompassing management and deployment of IT services.
Why Do You Need IT Management Software?
In order to better track and manage the increasingly complex IT Services being offered to clients, as well as other processes such as the software development process, IT service teams need tools to collaborate between teams who are often either working remotely or not co-located at the same office. Out of this web of requirements, Information Technology Service Management (ITSM) platforms have evolved out of existing customer management platforms to fill the gap. These platforms allow teams to design, create, and deliver complex IT solutions and services to clients.
More importantly, they allow those teams to manage the backend support of those services through ticketing, tracking, and management systems. Covering tasks ranging from incident management to knowledge management, these platforms can also act as Service Catalogs for clients to access their IT services provider’s various support systems. In an effort to help IT managed service providers find the best tools to help them support their clients, we’re going to dedicate some space today towards an in-depth comparison of two industry-leading ITSM solutions, ServiceNow and the new Jira Service Management Platform.
In this article, we’ll cover:
- What is ServiceNow?
- What is Jira Service Management?
- ServiceNow vs. Jira Service Management Pricing Overview
- Customer Support
- API and Third-Party Integrations
- Ease of Use
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- The Overall Winner
What is ServiceNow?
ServiceNow is the evolution of a company called Glidesoft that was founded in 2003. In 2006, the company officially became ServiceNow, and steadily grew in size until it was taken public in 2012. As it grew over the next nine years, ServiceNow expanded its service offerings through the acquisition of several 3rd-party services, allowing it to now deliver industry-leading digital workflows for clients that support productivity and efficiency in the workplace for clients. IT transformation is only a facet of the services on offer to clients. Their platform provides mobile self-service platforms and methods for automating HR functions and cybersecurity monitoring and reporting. The company utilizes its own product in managing internal daily operations, and the company enjoys massive productivity due to the DevOps approach taken in developing and executing service plans for clients. Its key features include:
- Robust base-level support package
- More customized integrations included upfront
- Built for Enterprise-level consumers; Complex interface
- Robust automation methods
What is Jira Service Management?
Beginning its life in 2002, the core Atlassian Jira product started as a software development project bug tracking tool. As it has evolved and the company has expanded its overall scope, Service Management grew out of the older Jira Service Desk product. Repositioned as a high-velocity service management system, Service Management is built to increase the visibility of projects and various workflows while bringing together the team members necessary to execute those workflows. Its core offering consists of:
- Simple, transparent, accessible for small- to medium-sized businesses
- Adequate basic support; paid tiers for premium support
- Extensive 3rd party library; built on the parent company’s platform makes it easier to use and extend
- Built to cater to a more diverse customer base, built for ease of use
- Quick to deploy; flexible deployment options
Jira Service Management
ServiceNow requires a consultation to be able to access their full pricing tiers; The product can also be white-labeled and offered as a service by third parties
Limited access at $20 per agent on a monthly billing cycle, Full access at $40 per agent on a monthly billing cycle. Scales per user; Annual billing available
A free demo can be scheduled, and through registration, videos of demos can be viewed but there is no indication of free access to the product
7-day free trial for up to 5000 agents with full access to the standard service
No free version listed
Free option for small teams with 3 agents that provides limited functionality
Overall, Jira’s pricing model is very transparent and reasonably accessible on a per-user price point. Business-level consumers appreciate this, as it allows them to price the field and make an informed decision without investing time in demoing products they might never purchase.
Alternatively, ServiceNow creates perceived value by requiring potential customers to talk to the sales team and demo the product in order to access pricing tiers. This is a common tactic in sales, with the assumption that by seeing and interacting with the product, you’re halfway to buying into the brand. However, a quick tour around the block with Google reveals reviewers that have posted about ServiceNow’s annual costs starting around $10,000 annually, a difficult sell for small, non-enterprise consumers.
Hear From Industry Experts
Read the latest tips, research, best practices, and insights from our community of expert B2B service providers.
When dealing with technical products, consumers expect there to be technical issues, downtime, errors, and more often than not, a learning-curve issue that leads to a service ticket. We decided to dig into the support options of each ITSM platform to see how the vendors address issues.
ServiceNow Customer Support
The higher cost and associated expenses of the ServiceNow platform, complete with robust licensing fee requirements, are softened somewhat by the scope of the support services they provide. This includes 24/7 technician support, access to the latest documentation, and the ability to discuss information with ServiceNow experts.
Web/Email Access to Support
Dedicated 1:1 Support on a Paid Basis
24/7/365 Phone Support
Direct-to-Expert Model for All Customers
Jira Service Management Customer Support
At first glance, you might think that Jira is holding back by charging for premium tier support, but given the low cost of the platform per user, the free support option is sufficient for most small operations, and as they scale, clients can later absorb the costs of more robust support tiers. Jira Service Management support includes user access to the latest documentation, a community forum to ask questions, and bug reports.
Robust Free Support option
Paid Support Tiers for more complex support
Support tiers cover customers of all products
Which Platform is Better?
ServiceNow’s default access to a service provider 24/7/365 is crucial, especially when dealing with technical services that must remain up and functioning anytime your clients are online and doing business. Given the core costs of ServiceNow’s services, however, it would be a critical mark against if they didn’t include a robust consumer-focused support service as standard.
API and Third-Party Integrations
As a service provider, you want the services you bring to your clients to be versatile and accessible to other tools they use to improve the value that you bring to the table. API integration is the process by which software platforms connect to one another in order to create a flow of data between those platforms. This data flow is utilized by leadership to make more informed business decisions.
ServiceNow API and Integrations
ServiceNow is purely a cloud-based platform, so there are some productivity issues that arise from the need for integration in the process of mounting ServiceNow onto the hosting platform. ServiceNow mitigates this and other similar challenges with documentation guiding users on building necessary add-ons. ServiceNow is extremely extensible and provides endless opportunities for integration through the use of REST API.
Increased flexibility through the use of specialized REST API
ServiceNow is built upon a third-party platform to be used by clients, resulting in a mismatch between UI and API interface that adds complexity and can impact productivity
Multiple frameworks and solutions made accessible through a mix of REST and SOAP APIs; supported by documentation instructing users on how to build out add-ons
Jira Service Management API and Integrations
The Service Management product is built upon Jira’s proprietary platform, which allows users to access the Jira platform’s suite of REST API and easily create custom integrations. This is a great solution to the fact that though the platform has a massive library of third-party integrations, there are few custom solutions included, and users have to make do for themselves
REST API helps in the building of add-ons and integrations with partner applications
Less custom-built integrations; requires users to build integrations themselves
More than 24,000 add-ons from third-party applications extend Service Management functionality
Which Platform is Better?
Many professionals see the two platforms equally matched when it comes to API and integrations with third-party platforms. Shortcomings in both cases are mitigated by other API-related features, leaving only the advantages of each. That said, the fact that Jira Service Management can be launched on both in-house and cloud-based platforms, there is more flexibility in how the platform can be used to integrate across multiple interfaces more easily than ServiceNow.
Ease of Use
When organizations outsource to a managed services provider, they are looking to simplify and streamline their IT infrastructure and processes. That means that the platform they use to interface with their MSP needs to be equally streamlined and easy to use, both for the service provider and for their clients.
ServiceNow Ease of Use
Ease of use is one of two categories where feedback from the community of users clearly places ServiceNow behind Jira and other competitors. The platform has a steep learning curve with a difficult-to-navigate UI, and clients claim that it is difficult to upgrade and maintain. This is especially true for smaller organizations. However, because of the platform’s focus on enterprise-level services, it does fulfill the needs of a specific client base.
Integrated visual coding environment included
Steep learning curve
Interface and functionality caters to large enterprise-level clients
Users struggle with the UI
Difficult to upgrade
Enterprise-focused and less accessible for small organizations.
Jira Service Management Ease of Use
Small businesses find the flexibility and easy-to-use interface accessible to businesses of all sizes. The portal is easy to use and access. However, the need for a third-party integrated coding platform (IDE) to create code does break the immersive illusion of an all-in-one solution that can be collaborative.
Known for a fairly flat learning curve
No integrated coding environment; requires separate software to develop code
Easy to grasp interactive UI
Which Platform is Better?
This really comes down to the type of organization using the software. For larger enterprise operations, ServiceNow is the better of the two platforms in the ease of access and types of projects being managed when we’re dealing with teams at a larger scale. For the average smaller, non-enterprise operation, however, Jira’s easy-to-learn interface and agile platform puts it ahead of ServiceNow.
The last feature we’re going to cover is how easy it is to take the platform from a conversation with the vendor to being a live customer in the field. Deployment necessitates a platform, so the product developer has to choose whether their product will be purely cloud-based or if they’ll support premise-based installations as well.
Deployment is where there seems to be a common consensus amongst users and professionals in the field that ServiceNow misses the mark. Aside from taking significantly longer to deploy, the platform is purely cloud-based and thus also lacks offline functionality.
ServiceNow takes roughly 4 months to go live
Can only be run via cloud interface; no on-premise option
No offline functionality
Jira Service Management Deployment
On the other side of the deployment model, Jira’s flexibility of on-premise or cloud-based deployment allows for a faster deployment for the client, ensures offline functionality, and creates a situation where it’s easy to upgrade and maintain.
Because Jira always launches on a Jira-based platform, deployment is easier and faster, at just over a month on average to go live
Easy to upgrade and maintain
Can only be run via cloud interface; no on-premise option
In a premise-based deployment, there is offline functionality
Which Platform is Better?
The speed of deployment really shifts the advantage in this category to Jira. The fact that the platform is flexible in how it can be deployed and it’s easy to maintain places it squarely ahead of ServiceNow both on paper and based on feedback from the community.
ServiceNow vs. Jira Service Management Expert Reviews
To further compare ServiceNow vs. Jira Service Management, we corresponded directly with the industry experts themselves. We asked them which tool they prefer to use and why.
Users Who Prefer ServiceNow
“ServiceNow ITSM supports you in consolidating procedures using the Now platform. Performance analysis provides insights that encourage action and. ServiceNow’s service management functionality also helps to minimize unnecessary and inefficient practices across your operation.” —Matt Weidle, Business Development Manager, Buyer’s Guide
“ServiceNow comes with a built-in community that is invaluable. The annual conference for the company attracts 20,000 from all over the globe and provides invaluable opportunities to network with thousands of other service managers, experts, and leaders, all willing to share new methods for using ServiceNow.” —Dr. Pooneh Ramezani, CEO & Co-Founder, Dr. Brite
“I’d always go with ServiceNow because it advertises its solution as being simple for customers to set up, configure, and utilize. Visual Task Boards keep your team working without a lot of workflow reorganization, and the solution comes with built-in ITIL processes to help you get started. Automation tools allow your team to move away from mundane chores and toward more difficult issues.” —Sep Niakan, Managing Broker, Condo Blackbook
“ServiceNow has the ability to consolidate those essential, but often difficult-to-use older apps into a single cloud location, automating tedious operations along the way. The company also says that ServiceNow can boost IT efficiency by implementing features like incident management with automated routing and asset and cost management tools used to track expenses and contracts for assets.” —Jason McMahon, Digital Strategist, Bambrick
“The platform attempts to provide a single view of all systems in a particular IT service delivery ecosystem, and it connects with both existing systems and competing JIRA solutions to achieve this goal, which is why I prefer to use it instead of Jira Service Management.” —Bram Jansen, Chief Editor, vpnAlert
“I prefer ServiceNow because it is very user-friendly and allows my employees to use it quickly without dealing with complicated user interfaces. Moreover, because the work is completed rapidly and service-oriented tasks are more configurable than ever before, this app has enabled the business to thrive.” —Neil John, One Computer Guy
“What I particularly like about ServiceNow is that it uses AI-enabled virtual assistants to manage requests in customer service and other human resource situations. Plus, predictive intelligence, knowledge management, and release management facilitate a better framework and enhance the overall productivity of the workforce.” —Jon Buchan, CEO, Charm Offensive
Users Who Prefer Jira Service Management
“One of the key advantages of JIRA in project management is that the teams are able to use several approaches to estimate sprint times and plans, such as Scrum, Kanban, or classic Waterfall. Moreover, JIRA as a mobile app support project management application allows managers to always update their state of affairs.” —Tanya Zhang, Co-Founder, Nimble Made
“We prefer Jira over ServiceNow as it allows our developers to keep a better overview of their tasks and goals. It has more capabilities that allow other users to review and comment on team member tasks before completing them. Jira also offers task time estimations, that are based on previous similar tasks.” —Dimitris Tsapis, Senior Software Developer, Coara
“After having the experience of using both the tools I can easily say that Jira is the way to go for IT service management. I find Jira time-saving because of how easy it is to set up and the interface makes it self-explanatory and easy for a newbie to work with. I am highly impressed with Jira’s customer service which is always helpful with perfect responses.” —Gideon Rubin, CEO, Pandio
“We have created our own company dashboard on Jira and it seems like the tool was specifically designed for us. One great thing about this software is that it streamlines our work and makes it easy for us to manage, complete, and review our projects before final submission.” —Grant Clelland, IT Consultant, Infiniti Tracking
“Jira has detailed documentation that simplifies every new step you take while using it. The other features I love are remote access control and Jira’s maintenance schedule. The fact that it has all these features makes it an excellent choice for me.” —Miranda Yan, Co-Founder, VinPit
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Who owns ServiceNow?
ServiceNow was founded by Fred Luddy, who now serves as Chairman of the Board. The company was brought public in 2012 and is traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
Who owns Jira?
Jira is a product of the Australian-based Atlassian software development company. The company made its IPO in 2015 on the NASDAQ. Online reports show that following the company going public, the founders, Mike Cannon-Brooks and Scott Farquhar, act as Co-CEOs and retain a sizable percentage of the stock in order to retain a controlling interest in the company.
What are User Roles in ServiceNow?
Base system roles can be assigned by administrators to provide access to the system and features. There are more than 80 default roles that can be assigned, each with a specific function and access level allowing them to perform different default tasks. Product owners can layer roles to create layers of access and business functions.
What are User Roles in Jira Service Management?
The approach to roles in Jira isn’t as complex. There are three default roles in the platform: administrators, developers, and Users. However, similarly to the various roles in ServiceNow having different access levels, Jira’s users can be assigned permissions according to their role in a project.
Does ServiceNow Require Coding?
Does Jira Service Management Require Coding?
Nothing on the website or across the web indicates that configuring and customizing the Service Management interface requires coding knowledge, and many of the features are easily customized through a portal interface.
What Companies Use ServiceNow?
ServiceNow is utilized by businesses across every industry, with universities like Wesleyan University sharing virtual space with insurance giants like AEGIS and Aflac. Healthcare solutions are well represented in the company’s portfolio alongside retail powerhouses like 7-11 and online platforms like cars.com. A full listing of client case studies can be found on the company’s website.
What Companies Use Jira Service Management?
Service Management has recently taken the place of Jira’s Service Desk platform. Amongst the businesses featured in Jira’s case studies are Twitter, Lucid Motors, Northrop Grumman, splunk>, and Bose.
The Overall Winner
In the table below, we’ve carefully analyzed ServiceNow vs. Jira Service Management across each of the categories discussed above. We’ve assessed which tool had the most category wins to select the overall winner:
Jira Service Management
API and Integration
Ease of Use
The Overall Winner
While ServiceNow is an impressive ITSM tool, it’s hard to ignore the advantages Jira Service Management brings to the table in terms of cost, accessibility, deployment, and ease of use. Even throughout the community of supporters of ServiceNow, there was a significant effort to minimize the drawbacks of the service in order to highlight benefits. Out of the box, the average business should find Jira Service Management to be a powerful IT service management tool that they can use to meet the needs of their IT managed services clients.
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