Jira vs ServiceNow: A Comprehensive Comparison Guide

A comprehensive comparison guide of Jira vs ServiceNow


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Mia Fischer 14th January 2021

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In this article, we compare ServiceNow with the new offering from Atlassian called Jira Service Desk.

Ticketing systems are an essential function of modern IT service and support delivery. They prevent administration demands and critical issues from being forgotten inside of what would be a whirlwind of clutter, emails, and unorganized written and digitized requests. This is where both JIRA and ServiceNow come in. Both solutions are widely adopted amongst today’s leading enterprises, and for good reason. Within the category of leading ticketing systems; ServiceNow alon has a dominance of roughly twenty five percent of the total ITSM market share. Also, for those still becoming acquainted with IT and ServiceNow verbiage, that stands for information technology service management. Atlassian, on the other hand, is more programming oriented in nature. As a more widely distinctive name within IT, the company is a well-known name that is easily recognized with regards to traditional team collaboration tools and more ubiquitous project management and functional software.

The two (although very different) platforms are incredible in their contributions with regards to their ability to iterate with ease. As a core component of both solutions, their ease to integrate with other third party softwares are much of what is behind their success and adoption in the first place. JIRA, for example, is already natively integrated with Atlassian's other tools. Service Desk, for example, is built on the JIRA platform. With nearly 2,000 extensions (also known as add-ons) within the JIRA ecosystem dubbed the Atlassian marketplace, provides the ability to vastly extend core features and functionality. ServiceNow, not dissimilarly, boast a plethora of integrations, many of which are native to ServiceNow just as others are pre-built to integrate with widely adopted third-party softwares such as Salesforce and HubSpot.

Atlassian

Atlassian, for those that don't know, is the company behind the Jira software that I have been using for decades. Jira Service Desk is a version of the software that is focused on service desk and incident management. The following graphic gives a snapshot of Jira Service Desk versus the full version of Jira Software.

The two lines are close on features and the price of the software, but the differences are significant. Jira Service Desk is a visual, chat-based application whereas Jira Software, the original, is mostly a text-based product. As mentioned, the Jira Software product was on the cutting edge of software that is designed for teams to communicate and collaborate. It has been available for many years and there is a steep learning curve associated with learning how to use it.

Jira has become a ubiquitous tool, used across every company that has even the remote capability of using a virtual machine (Vmware, Hyper-V, Xen), although it started out in the financial sector. What began as a rich menu of features and integrations has become bloated, albeit useful and still works well in most cases. Atlassian has taken a page from Microsoft by merging these two applications into one and the software is now available in the cloud.

Customers that are already familiar with the Atlassian products and want to use them with Jira Service Desk are now able to do so. The same is true for customers who may have had problems using the original product and now want to avoid those problems. ServiceNow

Servicenow is a new kid on the block, though its software supports more than 500,000 users, it has fewer users and features are few, but it does have a proven track record. By default Jira is bundled, but we have added it to one of our containers in order to demonstrate what it looks like as a JIRA platform. ServiceNow can be used as a ticketing system and can streamline your support request. In this case you want the focus to be on resolution, not issuing of tickets.<p>ServiceNow's ticketing system gives you granular control over every step in your support cycle. This includes knowing exactly how many users have issues, the issue they are having, and what that issue is. It can even tell you how many tickets are open and assigned to users.

ServiceNow's ticketing system gives you granular control over every step in your support cycle. This includes knowing exactly how many users have issues, the issue they are having, and what that issue is. It can even tell you how many tickets are open and assigned to users.This is something that you would usually have to work through manually or have a system completely separate from your support team.

One of the differences between Jira Service Desk and the full version of Jira Software is that the Jira Service Desk only offers incident management functionality. Jira Software can be used for help desk operations as well. Atlassian has placed Jira Service Desk in direct competition with ServiceNow, but my guess is that the general population will only use it for service desk operations. Jira Service Desk is a solid product. A large number of Service Desk functions are similar to the data queries that we have been doing for decades. The ability to log, filter, and search is very similar in both products.

As long-time fans of Jira Software, the Jira Service Desk offering from Atlassian has some key differences from that of ServiceNow. Although, it’s very much worth noting that we have nothing but praise for the product. As Service Desk users, we would much rather have the ability to receive messages from end users and post them on a central dashboard that we can manipulate rather than working within a text-based interface. There is definitely a trade-off. For most companies, that will be a tough pill to swallow. If the product can drive significant growth, then the pricing may become more palatable.

User Interface

The JIRA Service Desk user interface has recently been upgraded to version 4.0. Users should notice a number of changes since the last upgrade in 2016, including faster iteration of tickets through the action manager, a new improvement to feedback collection through ticket requests, enhancements to tickets lists and reviews, and improved collaboration with other ticket types.

With ServiceNow, when a customer service rep logs in to the Ticketing UI, they can go directly to the Negotiate view, which provides a map view of tickets. This view provides a visual representation of the ticket, allowing reps to visually distinguish different Ticket types based on key characteristics. For example, if a customer service rep receives a Ticket with the following elements in the ticket template, they know it is a request for a tech to setup a Wi-Fi in a specific location.

User Interface

The JIRA Service Desk user interface has recently been upgraded to version 4.0. Users should notice a number of changes since the last upgrade in 2016, including faster iteration of tickets through the action manager, a new improvement to feedback collection through ticket requests, enhancements to tickets lists and reviews, and improved collaboration with other ticket types.

With ServiceNow, when a customer service rep logs in to the Ticketing UI, they can go directly to the Negotiate view, which provides a map view of tickets. This view provides a visual representation of the ticket, allowing reps to visually distinguish different Ticket types based on key characteristics. For example, if a customer service rep receives a Ticket with the following elements in the ticket template, they know it is a request for a tech to setup a Wi-Fi in a specific location.

Pricing

Perhaps most attractive of all is JIRA’s free tier that is designed for small teams starting with Service Desk. From there, pricing starts at $20 per agent for the standard tier and $40 per agent for the premium tier. For organizations of over 250 agents, JIRA recommends the enterprise tier which comes with an unlimited customer and site limit along with its full list of core features you can only get with the premium tier and up.

Pricing for ServiceNow Information Technology Service Management (ITSM) is also very competitive. Even so when compared to each of the tiers offered by JIRA. ServiceNow’s ITSM individual solutions are most commonly priced in line with the total quantity of agents, representatives or end users who will require individual logins to the ITSM ServiceNow ticketing system. Their per month subscription figure ranges from as low as $20 per user to the upwards of $100 per user. However, this mostly depends on the required capabilities and features of which the company is looking for.

All in all, pricing for either solution (ServiceNow ITSM and JIRA Service Desk) are very competitive.

Conclusion

ServiceNow is on track to be the first-choice software for service desk operations. It is possible that ServiceNow will take share away from Atlassian or even more significantly from Workday. However, there are dozens of other offerings on the market today and none are as good as ServiceNow.

The Jira Software (the client) helps you focus on the tasks, and the ServiceNow Service Automation (the Automator tool) helps you manage and automate the entire journey. If you've ever used a specific process manager (e.g. Asana, Trello, Jira), then you'll know this pain. You end up becoming so focused on the task at hand that you don't notice a pretty significant limitation.

Both ServiceNow ITSM and JIRA Service Desk are highly capable solutions for the management of any enterprise-level IT service or help desk; however, with that said, JIRA can widely serve as an extension of Atlassian. So those already utilizing Atlassian’s product suite will seek to benefit from seamless integration. Jira works incredibly well as a suite of other products and solutions offered by or sitting parallel to other Atlassian products.

ServiceNow, on the other hand, has different intentions in being designed as a holistic, end to end platform that offers integration as a key selling component, therefore drawing many of its stand out components from their ability to easily work with one another. For organizations already using Atlassian’s products, Jira Service Desk is likely the best solution for you. Similarly, if your organization has already adopted ServiceNow, then ServiceNow ITSM is the solution for you. If you haven’t started your journey in adopting either Atlassian or ServiceNow, we strongly recommend ServiceNow. As a ServiceNow consulting firm, Edison & Black provides Service Now consulting, implementation,ServiceNow recruiting, and support across ServiceNow’s full suite of products.

As it stands, ServiceNow's search and API are more powerful than those of Jira. It's also much easier to interface with ServiceNow, whether you're a Jira customer or not. At Edison & Black, it is our experience that ServiceNow’s usability is slightly better than that of Jira; especially so for those first adopting either platform. As with both solutions, it's more of a user preference, since we've seen success with both tools.

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