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JIRA Service Desk vs ServiceNow: What to choose for ticketing automation?

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Aleks Yenin
Posted by Aleks Yenin
August 28, 2017

Jira service Desk and ServiceNow OVERVIEW

0  2
  • the service desk software built on JIRA
  • an ITSM solution that offers full ITIL coverage
  • created in 2013 (as JIRA extension)
  • created in 2004
  • 20,000+ customers
  • 1,800+ customers

JIRA Service Desk is a fully-fledged ticket tracking system for helping IT and business teams communicate with customers and develop products. Built on JIRA workflow engine, it connects IT to your business through fast, accountable resolution of customer requests. ServiceNow, in turn, comes as a platform for set of pre-built ITIL processes. The platform aims to provide a single view of all systems in a given IT service delivery ecosystem.


1. PRICING: Who offers the best price

JIRA Service DeskServiceNow
Free Trial: Available


Starting from: $10.00/month

Pricing model: Subscription

! The license fee is based on number of agents (=service desk operators, while users are off-licensed).

Free Trial: Available


Starting from: $100.00/month

Pricing model: Subscription

! The license fee is based on number of users.

The Cloud Option:


  • for teams of 10 agents: $ 20/user/month
  • for teams of  50 agents: $ 16.50/user/month
  • for teams of 100 agents: $ 15,75/user/month
The Cloud Option (only):


  • ServiceNow’s license fee is $100 per user per month (volume discounts available).
  • Customers with fewer than 35 agents require a partner-delivered solution.
  • Organisations without in-house developers and capabilities strive to manage implementations, and may have to pay for third-party assistance.
The Server Option:


  • for  team of 10 agents: $3,000 one-time
  • for  team of 50 agents: $12,000 one-time
  • for  team of 500 agents: $45,000 one-time

2. FEATURES: Why do IT and service teams love JIRA Service Desk and ServiceNow?

JIRA Service DeskServiceNow
  • JIRA Service Desk’s admin interface is extremely flexible, powerful, and configurable to support the IT team.
  • JIRA offers a powerful REST API for building add-ons and develop integrations with other applications.
  • The Atlassian Marketplace provides over 600 extensions for JIRA Service Desk.
  • ServiceNow’s admin interface is more enterprise/ITIL-focused, and less accessible to smaller organizations.
  • ServiceNow comes with a well-documented REST API for interacting with its platform’s service instances.
  • The ServiceNow offering is complemented by 200 apps from 118 partners.

Don’t be a stranger to now technologies, and get to know how you (as a user) can benefit from JIRA Service Desk and ServiceNow.


JIRA Service DeskServiceNow
JIRA’s web interface is intuitive and easy to grasp. It requires zero training to use.With the application navigator and the Edge, users can find applications, modules, and information. With the bookmark, split screen, and form pane tab features, users can easily customize the interface to suit their needs.

JIRA Service Desk

  • makes resolution of customer requests fast and accountable;
  • offers a smart, self-service knowledge base, that is easy to set up and scale;
  • has all-in-one ticketing, reporting, filtering, and dashboards;
  • allows to get started in minutes with out-of-the-box business templates (great service level agreement, queues, request types, reports, workflow, permissions, roles etc.);
  • features a modern, powerfully-simple user experience;
  • gives complete visibility with real-time reporting.


  • IT Service Automation: one solution for asset management, change and release management, configuration management, incident management, IT cost management, problem management, and a service catalog;
  • Custom Application Development: build and deploy custom applications in days, integrate your existing apps and new apps;
  • Single Platform: consolidate all your legacy apps into one single system to record all process and get actionable insight into all your IT;
  • Service Automation: standardize service processes and implement automation to replace manual tasks;
  • Project Portfolio Management: offers complete project management, from planning and execution, to time management, task assignment and status tracking;
  • ServiceNow Express: provides a range of integrated IT service management application for enterprises of all sizes.


 3. REVIEWS: What do business professionals say about the solutions they use?


Favorable Reviews on both products

JIRA Service Desk

“For a global team that’s doing help desk ticketing, or pretty much anything in IT, JIRA Service Desk really helps us to be efficient and effective as a team”.


Alex Stillings, Manager of IT Support Services

“Since deploying JIRA Service Desk, we’ve had our resolved tickets increase by almost 67 percent, which is a sign that our help desk team is able to actually get more work done”.


Nick Cunningham, IT Manager

“We rolled out JIRA Service Desk – going from 2 to 22 locations globally – in five weeks. The adoption from the user community was phenomenal”.


Gen Kallos, Associate Director of Operations


“We implemented ServiceNow in just 3 months. It met all of the requirements.  The workflow capability in ServiceNow is what really sold us.  It has enabled us to automate and standardize over 50 HR processes”.


Kaitlin Arcamone, Global HR Service Delivery Manager

The IT team needed a better way to manage service calls. The team tested ServiceNow’s cloud-based software internally, before expanding it into a portal that any airport staff can use to report IT faults and order new equipment. It was working really well”.


Michael Ibbitson, CIO

“Using ServiceNow, we were able to unify incident, problem, and change management for significant ongoing time savings. Reducing this manual effort is having an incredible impact on our teams – we’re reclaiming at least 75 hours a week across our employees and partners alike for the change process alone”.


Colin McEvoy, Head of Service Transition

 Critical Reviews on both products

JIRA Service Desk
“Limited customization without purchasing multiple add-ons”.“Complex installation process.  Dashboard if not configured properly can be a nightmare to new users. New users might complain for finding too many buttons and details, which leads to difficulty in working in agile mode. Abnormal behavior at times.- automatic logout, slows a lot, different state of sub tasks for 2 different users.Last one which I personally find irritating is getting emails on each and every change of tasks”.“It was a source of us forgetting the tasks to do and have a lot of tasks in backlog at the end of the quarter. This is a observation in our research team. On the other hand it was helpful on our issue task force team to complete their tasks as soon as they are assigned to an IT person”.
“Performance occasionally suffers for reasons not attributable to local network or internet outages Many types of customization must be re-applied after each upgrade of the application”.



“There are limitations in the ServiceNow reporting functionalities. It is not easy to create reports and dashboard in ServiceNow when there are a large set of data. The second limitation we’ve found in ServiceNow is the survey functionality. It is VERY difficult to create a survey and then use the answers in a report”.“You cannot automatically turn an Incident (immediate break/fix issue) into a Service Request (longer solution issue that involves planning). You must close out the incident stating it should be a service request, and then open a service request on the end users behalf”.





ServiceNow is more enterprise-oriented and focused around ITIL, while JIRA Service Desk was designed to be accessible by IT professionals from all organization types. Besides, JIRA Service Desk is much cheaper and easier to use. There is not much difference  between these two solutions. Each company makes a choice subjectively. However, it’s important that JIRA can be hosted and you’re able to build completely secure network and put JIRA in it. Also, as JIRA extension, JIRA SD can be an entry point for Atlassian ecosystem (JIRA Software, Confluence, etc.).

For smaller companies with limited requirements, JIRA Service Desk is a safe bet, especially since the platform can be simply scaled up and expanded to support more users and features. Organizations looking for a full ITIL coverage may opt for ServiceNow’s enterprise service management platform instead.


If you still have questions regarding your particular case our experienced advisors and will provide you with complete guidance on how to

  • implement the right solution
  • simplify its structure
  • reduce the costs of both products and licences
  • and advise on how the product can be customized and adapted to serve business processes in your particular case

Recommended read to expand on the topic of differences and similarities or Jira and ServiceNow – Jira Service Desk vs ServiceNow. Do they operate the same ITIL processes?


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