Top ServiceNow Alternatives: Compare ITSM Tools

ServiceNow has been one of the leaders in IT Service Management (ITSM) for many years, but recently, it updated its platform. The decision was made based on a survey that found 65% of employees planned to engage in hybrid work.

The update included several new features, including the ability to monitor occupancy levels and assign work teams to different areas of the office. The company is also rolling out a Healthcare and Life Sciences Service Management product, as well as an Operational Technology Management platform for smart manufacturing.

Even as ServiceNow expands its capabilities, it may not be a good fit for every organization. Here, we explore some of the best ServiceNow alternatives available today.

Read more on project-management.com: ServiceNow ITBM Review

Top ServiceNow Alternatives

What is the competition doing to grab market share from ServiceNow? And who offers a viable alternative to ServiceNow for ITSM?

There are a wide variety of features to choose from among ITSM providers. Some you may need, many you may not. According to Gartner, infrastructure and operations (I&O) leaders will overspend by $750 million to buy unused features of ITSM tools through 2023. So choose your vendors wisely.

CIO Insight evaluated a variety of candidates. Here are our top picks, in no particular order.

Jira

Jira Service Management (formerly Jira Service Desk) from Atlassian is a unified platform for modern ITSM strategies across development, IT, and business teams. It helps teams deliver service experiences faster. Over 35,000 customers use Jira Service Management.

Atlassian has made several acquisitions to bolster its ITSM capabilities, including ThinkTilt ProForma for low-code/no-code form building, Mindville Insight for asset and configuration management, Opsgenie for incident management, Automation for Jira for code-free automation, Halp for conversational ticketing, and Chartio for analytics and data visualization. In addition, Gartner included Atlassian in the 2021 edition of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for IT Service Management Tools, the sole “Visionary” in that report.

Key Differentiators

  • Scalable request management through service desk
  • Expanded low-code workflow capabilities through over 300 pre-built templates
  • Flexible asset and configuration management
  • Improved incident and change management capabilities through connections to Bitbucket, Jira Software, and other development solutions
  • Jira Service Management customers report short, easy implementation experiences
  • Tight integrations between Jira Software and Jira Service Management means smooth workflows between Dev and IT
  • Unlike the complex pricing structure of ServiceNow, Jira Service Management pricing is easy to understand and visible to all

BMC

The BMC Helix portfolio provides core enterprise service management capabilities along with AI/ML and DevOps enhancements.

With its modern containerized approach, BMC Helix can scale to meet current and future needs. It includes DevOps support and seamless integration of operations management to provide ServiceOps differentiation. Customers can understand all aspects of service delivery — from meeting SLAs to resolving potential issues before they arrive to delivering good service experiences.

Helix was the first solution to receive ITIL v4 certification in the industry, and was also identified as a Leader in 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for ITSM Tools for the eighth consecutive year. The platform received the highest score in the Advanced-Maturity I&O Use Case in the 2021 Gartner Critical Capabilities for ITSM Tools.

Key Differentiators

  • Open, scalable microservices-based architecture that helps deliver actionable insights on all aspects of service delivery and performance
  • Provides intermediate and advanced ITSM core capabilities
  • AI capabilities range from intelligent self-service to AI/ML service desk for enhanced agent productivity
  • Offers advanced analytics for problem-solving and identifying areas for service improvements and innovations
  • Omni-channel engagements across devices and methods, such as SMS, Progressive Web Apps, Slack, Microsoft Teams, WhatsApp, etc.
  • Enables multi-cloud service management across different environments and providers to provide a single way to manage all services

Freshservice

Freshservice ITSM Software offers a modern, employee-focused service management platform.

It also includes IT operations management (ITOM) to manage critical incidents and maximize uptime; IT asset management (ITAM) with a configuration management database (CMDB) to optimize processes and spending; project and portfolio management (PPM) to deliver projects on time; and enterprise service management (ESM) across all business functions.

Key Differentiators

  • Allows easy configurations to suit any company’s process and workflow needs
  • Seamless continuous deployments enable IT teams to provide uninterrupted support without legacy debt beneath a patched-up solution
  • The company claims 308% ROI and a payback period of less than three months
  • 68% operational efficiency through bots, automation, and orchestration
  • Takes a consumer-grade approach for faster and wider employee adoption without any training or certification necessary
  • Offers transparent pricing, so customers can focus on value realization

Zendesk

Zendesk is an open-source alternative to ServiceNow. The Zendesk suite brings together all of Zendesk’s service capabilities into one offering that brings simplicity to the enterprise software space.

This includes capabilities to simplify workflows and address employee requests faster, a single workspace for internal support teams with all employee context in one place, and features for routing, intelligence, knowledge management, and more.

Key Differentiators

  • Capabilities to make it easy to tap internal support
  • Answerbot for chat and rapid assistance
  • AI-powered bots to provide personalization at scale
  • One integrated hub for all systems and tools
  • Implement automation for HR and IT support to achieve faster resolution times
  • Real-time reporting to track core metrics, gain visibility, and reduce costs
  • 750+ app integrations including SurveyMonkey, Dropbox, Slack, and Jira Software
  • No/low code platform is fast to deploy, and easier to make ongoing changes
  • Modern SaaS architecture with no need for upgrades or patches
  • Agile product release cycles
  • Ability to integrate with agent-facing apps to create better experiences for internal support teams

SolarWinds

SolarWinds Service Desk is a modern ITSM solution that aims to eliminate barriers to employee support services.

Features include incident management that consolidates, manages, and prioritizes incoming tickets; service catalog to standardize service request and fulfillment processes; integrated IT asset management to compile hardware, software, POs, and more; a service portal for users to have a single place to submit tickets and requests; and change management to plan, review, and implement changes quickly.

Key Differentiators

  • User-friendly, intuitive interface offering a single-access point for service management, IT asset management, configuration management, and more
  • ITIL-ready with incident, problem, change, and release management capabilities
  • Configurable, no-code setup enables teams to mold the tool as they see fit, making changes for the platform to scale as they grow
  • Organizations can setup SolarWinds Service Desk with the help of dedicated SolarWinds Professional Services Specialists in 30 to 90 days
  • A multi-tenant, cloud-based solution built on AWS
  • Customers benefit from being on the latest version of the platform, with access to the most recent features and updates
  • As a SaaS solution, SolarWinds Service Desk also automatically rolls out fixes and performs ongoing maintenance

SysAid

SysAid Service Automation uses AI built from a decade of usage data from over 4,000 organizations. It makes ITSM automatic, freeing IT up to keep the business going.

The company stresses ease of implementation and an improved agent and employee experience by providing good support and tools to enable them to self-solve their own issues and requests.

Key Differentiators

  • Request, change, and problem management capabilities deliver service management across your organization
  • Out of the box templates
  • Every incoming ticket is automatically categorized, prioritized, and assigned to the most appropriate person or resolution group within IT
  • Automated escalation rules, including prioritization
  • Notification for the relevant manager on delays, etc.
  • SysAid Service Automation also includes Help Desk

Ivanti

Ivanti Neurons for ITSM is a flexible, cloud-optimized ITSM platform. Automated workflows eliminate manual processes.

Whether you’re looking for an IT help desk/support ticket solution or need to perform more advanced ITIL service management processes, Ivanti Neurons for ITSM can scale and adapt to business needs. It can operate in the cloud or on-premises, and this multi-tenant helps IT teams administer service management for IT and for other business departments.

Key Differentiators

  • Incident management system for dealing with inbound ticket requests from any channel
  • Real-time visibility of IT assets across their lifecycle, tracking contracts, warranty, and financial information
  • Automatic detection, diagnosing, and healing of endpoint issues
  • Voice automation
  • Built on industry standards with 13 ITIL-certified processes
  • Service desk teams can use diagnostic and remediation capabilities
  • Analysts can resolve incidents with automated, pre-packaged, specialist-level actions
  • Pre-defined workflow blocks integrate smoothly with external systems and data sources to pull in required information and connect to other tools
  • Automatically pre-populate the CMDB, reclaim unused software, meet compliance requirements, and save time
  • AI-powered bots enable users to have a conversation with a bot to obtain answers, submit requests, or ask for help

InvGate

InvGate Service Desk empowers support teams to deliver service via a ticketing solution, workflow automations, and ITIL-ready functionalities.

It enables agents to focus on what’s most important by organizing work based on priority, SLA, and urgency — which helps to avoid bottlenecks.

Key Differentiators

  • Customize dashboards for transparency on the state of the service desk
  • Visual engine allows IT to create automated workflows to manage requests across the organization
  • Integrates with the CMDB, so users can review hardware and software related to each incident
  • Log, manage, and report on IT issues
  • Different service levels can apply to both incidents and service requests for better prioritization and workload management
  • Route tickets to the most appropriate resolver based on any combination of factors such as user group, severity, or ticket type

HaloITSM

HaloITSM is ITSM software that incorporates analytics, so you can match IT delivery to the true needs of the business.

Its ITIL-aligned processes make it easier to manage incidents and meet SLAs. This makes it a good candidate for those needing an ITIL-compliant service desk. It incorporates additional user contact channels, many integrations, and a competitive price.

Key Differentiators

  • HaloITSM’s CMDB tracks configuration items (CIs) and visualizes dependencies between CIs
  • Log incidents and problems against CIs
  • Zero in on systematic failings before they cause a major incident
  • Includes AI to automate processes
  • Self-service portal where users can access requests, raise tickets, and find solutions from knowledge base articles
  • Create multiple and customizable SLA groups, timings, priorities, and descriptions for response and resolution times

Resolve

Rather than replacing ServiceNow, Resolve offers a way to enhance it. Resolve Actions is an intelligent IT automation platform that is complementary to and integrates with ServiceNow ITSM.

Rather than an alternative to ServiceNow for ITSM, Resolve Systems delivers features to enhance customers’ ITSM deployments.

Key Differentiators

  • Automated ITSM processes from initiation through remediation
  • Low-code/no-code orchestration capabilities
  • Thousands of immediate orchestration options with 5,000+ downloadable automation components
  • More than 125 integrations for ITSM products including ServiceNow, as well as AWS, Azure, and VMware
  • Enables ServiceNow users to leverage complex multi-platform IT workflows without customizing ServiceNow

ITSM Market Evolution

The ITSM market has never stood still for long. From traditional on-premises systems, it evolved rapidly to embrace the cloud. As can be seen in the previously mentioned ServiceNow updates, the market is now incorporating work-from-home and hybrid work trends. In addition, artificial intelligence (AI) is gradually being added into more and more ITSM offerings.

“The next trend in ITSM will likely be the use of artificial intelligence both in real time and mining the extensive data contained within ITSM solutions,” said Ron Williams, an analyst at GigaOM. “Areas where AI can make a significant impact include risk assessment for changes management and in obtaining a better understanding of future operational costs.”

After all, ITSM data contains a wealth of information about customer relationships. When paired with the customer relationship data, it can provide insights into how changes in IT impact customers.

“AI within ITSM will take the staid world of IT service management to a new level of importance in value stream mapping,” said Williams.

Read next: Best IT Help Desk Software (2021)

Drew Robb
Drew Robb has been writing about IT and engineering for more than 25 years. Originally from Scotland, he now lives in Florida.

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