Jira Service Management vs ServiceNow

Jira Service Management is the ServiceNow alternative built on Jira for a fraction of the price — with all the power.

JSM ServiceNow

Jira Service Management (JSM) and ServiceNow are topping the charts, enabling businesses to deliver exceptional IT services:

  • JSM delivers ITIL best practices out-of-the-box, empowering teams to adapt service management processes that align with the way they work to resolve issues faster.
  • ServiceNow allows IT departments to handle incidents, requests, problems, and changes with increased precision, while continually managing and optimising the delivery of IT services.

Together they account for 58% of the ITSM market, according to the latest Apps Run The World report.

ITSM tools help infrastructure and operations (I&O) businesses manage the consumption of IT services, the infrastructure that supports them, and the responsibility of IT to deliver business value. These tools are most frequently used by IT service desks and IT service delivery functions to support tasks and workflows for processes, including incident, request, problem, change, service level, knowledge, and configuration management.

There are several products on the market for teams to choose from and Jira Service Management and ServiceNow both feature on Gartner’s IT Service Management Tools Reviews and Ratings list. When deciding between the two, there’s a lot to consider.

Deciding between Jira Service Management and ServiceNow

You could always go with the second biggest SaaS company in the world, ServiceNow, which has a customer base of 1,093. Established in 2004, ServiceNow offers complete ITSM/ITIL capabilities.

Or you could opt for Jira Service Management (JSM), built on Jira — the leading platform for tracking work across the enterprise at scale, with more than 65,000 companies around the world using it to manage projects.

Let’s look at each platform in more detail.

Jira Service Management

Jira Service Management

Jira Service Management, previously known as Jira Service Desk, brings together dev, IT operations, and business teams, allowing organisations to respond to business changes faster and deliver great service experiences.

In 2021, Atlassian was named the only Visionary in the 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for IT Service Management Tools.

As an all-in-one solution, JSM lets you filter, ticket, report and make use of dashboards and more in one place.



ServiceNow is a born-in-the-cloud SaaS and platform often referred to as the ‘Salesforce.com of IT’ due to the plentiful third party developed solutions in its ecosystem.

Today, ServiceNow offers a myriad of apps for IT service management, HR, legal, and more. The platform provides a single view of all systems in a given IT service delivery ecosystem, integrating with existing systems as well as competing solutions such as BMC, Salesforce, and even Jira itself, although such integrations tend to be cumbersome and weak.

Implementing JSM and ServiceNow

With Jira Service Management, it doesn’t matter if you have 5,000 agent instances or 1, you can implement it without help and with simple configuration and management. There’s no need for expert assistance and you can expect an average implementation time of 6 weeks.

For ServiceNow, companies may struggle with the configuration, especially without developers or in-house capabilities to assist. Many will have to seek and pay for help from third parties, in fact, for customers with fewer than 35 agents, ServiceNow requires users to have a partner deliver the solution.

JSM and ServiceNow pricing

Jira Service Management has all the features your team needs to deliver great services at a fraction of the cost of ServiceNow.

In a report by Apps Run the World, it was revealed at the end of 2021, that ServiceNow made $2.5 billion, taking the average ServiceNow customer spend to around $362,318. This is a rise from the equivalent figure of $273,000 previously calculated by Atlassian. This shows that since then, transactions with ServiceNow have increased significantly. On the contrary, when performing the same calculation for Jira Service Management customers, the spend was $33,428.

Switching to Jira Service Management from ServiceNow

Despite all of its qualities, there are several reasons why a business might want to make the switch from ServiceNow to JSM.

ServiceNow Jira Service Management
Expensive with complex pricing and packaging
ServiceNow offers many add-ons and customised plans, but pricing can be confusing and expensive. Being a feature-rich application, many users don’t need or use all of the capabilities available, which means they end up overpaying. Lengthy implementations and complex integrations can also add to overall operational costs.
Higher ROI and a lower cost
Atlassian is transparent with its affordable pricing for Jira Service Management. The platform offers a modern approach to ITIL, without the bloat. This cuts out the need for external help to make even the littlest of changes, thus saving businesses even more money.
Time-consuming implementations
It can take up to 4 months to successfully implement ServiceNow on a basic level, and over 8-12 months for more mature implementations.
Easier deployment, configuration, and administration
Jira Service Management only takes 1-2 months to implement.
Silos between development and IT operations
Third-party integrations with ServiceNow can be cumbersome and lead to silos. Silos between development and IT operations result in context switching, decelerated work, and a lack of visibility. Since Service Desk operations and DevOps teams are separate entities with little to no integrations between them, the tool does not give IT teams the visibility they need in the DevOps lifecycle.
Collaboration and a unified platform for Dev and IT
With Jira Service Management, silos are broken down between developers and IT operations, and tight integrations between Jira Software and Jira Service Management provide seamless workflows. JSM brings development and operations together, paving the way for more collaborative fixing of incidents and application changes.
Annual upgrades required to ensure support
Providing both SaaS and PaaS offerings, ServiceNow has two upgrades a year, which can be difficult and time-consuming. This requires a complex platform and plug-in integrations to be upgraded.
Empowers teams to deliver value fast
With Jira Service Management, instead of an overly centralised, one-size-fits-all approach, teams can get started in no time with adaptable processes that suit their working styles while remaining standardised on tooling.
Additional experts are often required to configure, customise, and maintain processes in ServiceNow. Deployments span a long 6-9 month cycle, adding to overall costs, and consultants may be required post-implementation for basic tasks, such as developing workflows and updating fields.
A modern work management platform
Being built on Jira, JSM customers benefit from the leading platform that enables the tracking of work across the enterprise at scale. An upward of 5 million records of work can be managed in Jira, and visibility into work across development, IT operations, and business teams speed up decisions with the right context at every stage.
Lack of scalability
ServiceNow has an inflexible architecture, making it difficult for teams to enjoy scalability, often stifling growth and innovation. Whilst scalability can be achieved, it is not without costly consultants, long training cycles, and a total refurbishing of the underlying architecture.
JSM’s rich ecosystem of integrations and 600+ Marketplace apps make the solution easily extendable and scalable, allowing teams to meet evolving service delivery needs. In the last few years, Atlassian has acquired and tightly integrated Opsgenie and Automation for Jira into the solution. Mindville for asset and configuration management was also acquired, as well as Halp, for conversational ticketing.

ServiceNow vs Jira Service Management

In a world where most ITSM tools have been designed to manage incidents, problems, and changes, JSM empowers the workforce with the services, processes, and technologies they need to continuously win, serve, and retain customers. The open platform helps IT function more effectively, which in turn, enables the whole business to be more efficient in operations.

JSM’s simplified and easy-to-use UI allows users to collaborate effectively and foster continued business growth. ITIL best practices empower teams to adopt service management processes to match the way they work, driving continued value from ITSM.

It provides service desk agents with end-to-end visibility over changes whilst seamlessly linking JSM tickets to Jira Software issues and creating permanent fixes. In addition, JSM allows teams to leverage the powerful post-incident review process to quickly close feedback loops and boost learning and sharing.

Tips for teams looking to switch from ServiceNow to JSM

  • Find an experienced Atlassian Platinum Solution Partner that has managed such projects before.
  • When you’ve found the right expert(s), define the scope of the project and analyse the data, workflows, and processes needed.
  • Have them design the JSM system based on the needs of the business.
  • Customise and integrate as needed by exploring supported apps and extensions.
  • Pilot and review the JSM solution and monitor it to ensure users aren’t facing challenges when using the new system.

If you’re thinking of switching from ServiceNow to JSM, our consultants tick all of the boxes in terms of experience, assuring a smooth transition.

Our authors

Gary Blower

Gary Blower

Gary specialises in technology adoption, enterprise Service Management, and software quality assurance, including the software lifecycle, configuration management, and application security testing.

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