What Is ServiceNow and What Is It Used For + ServiceNow Alternatives

Published: May 16, 2022
Last Updated: April 25, 2024
Chief Strategy Officer at Alpha Serve
For enterprises of all sizes looking to bring all their IT solutions under the same reliable and robust umbrella, ServiceNow offers an impressive suite of products and services that provides everything they could ever need.

In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about this cloud-based platform beginning with the question of what is ServiceNow and what is it used for? Why ServiceNow? What are the different ServiceNow Products, and how to make use of them? In addition to learning about how ServiceNow workflow and integrations work, this article will also cover some of the major ServiceNow alternatives you can consider.
What Is ServiceNow and What Is It Used For + ServiceNow Alternatives 2022

What Is the ServiceNow Platform

what is servicenow and what is it used for
ServiceNow is a cloud-based platform with workflow automation capabilities. The platform offers a suite of products and services that can help organizations streamline their operations, automate routine tasks, and improve general operational efficiency.

Founded in 2004, ServiceNow was originally created for IT service management. However, the platform has evolved over the years to become a robust enterprise management tool for organizations across various industries to unite several business functions under the same umbrella. The platform focuses on 5 major service areas including IT, Security, Customer service, HR service delivery, and Business Applications.

ServiceNow Benefits and Key Features

ServiceNow Benefits and Features
Businesses looking to achieve full self-service capabilities for the different business processes highlighted above will find ServiceNow a valuable platform for them. The platform also helps to improve the overall efficiency of service operations.

As a workflow management platform, ServiceNow provides enhanced management and tracking of IT systems and day-to-day operations. It can be customized to the specific needs of an organization. The platform works by allowing license holders to create service models which can be used to manage daily operations as well as special service issues. Some of the ServiceNow benefits include:


ServiceNow is a simple but robust tool for structuring and automating workflows. The service model effectively replaces emails and spreadsheets with a more efficient alternative. Servicenow helps to streamline service delivery by replacing manual processes with a more consumerized service experience designed for enterprise-wide usage. Despite solving several business problems, ServiceNow is very easy to configure and deploy. This means users can get productive immediately using this platform.

Powerful and Flexible

ServiceNow means different things to different organizations. The platform is quite powerful in various aspects of its functionalities. Some of the unique capabilities of this robust platform include:

  • Application Development: Servicenow allows teams and enterprises to quickly build and deploy ServiceNow apps to be used within a single department or for an entire enterprise. Building, testing, and publishing ServiceNow apps is completely code-free so anyone can build business apps that solve real business problems.

  • Field Service Management: ServiceNow provides a more efficient way for companies to handle field service management. It creates a unified system that effectively replaces emails, spreadsheets, and other conventional field service management tools

  • Finance Service Management: the platform can be used to handle various aspects of financial services for an organization including preparing financial reports, handling payroll, procurements, and monitoring financial service requests.

  • IT Service Management: ITSM has always been one of the core functions of the ServiceNow platform. ServiceNow Modernizes IT service management by automating processes, boosting their efficiency, and lowering costs.


ServiceNow is a cloud-based platform. This further promotes ease of use and convenient access across various teams, departments, and offices. The platform facilitates real-time communication, resource sharing, and collaboration.

ServiceNow Integrations

ServiceNow’s integration capabilities make it easier to further expand its features by combining them with other tools. The ServiceNow Store hosts several third-party applications and independently developed add-ons such as the Power BI Connector app, that can be linked seamlessly with the platform. Below we list the most widely used and useful ServiceNow integrations with links to detailed setup instructions:

Cost Reductions & Improved Response Time

With ServiceNow, enterprises can easily identify bottlenecks in workflow and make adjustments that help improve overall process efficiency. Not only does this cut costs, but it also helps to save time. ServiceNow also makes it possible to use AI-enabled workflows to simplify work, identify incidents, and cut down associated downtime.

Overview of ServiceNow Products

Overview of ServiceNow Products
ServiceNow is a technical management platform. It provides a range of IT solutions that allow users to manage projects, coordinate teams and customer interactions, manage workflow and deliver customer service using a comprehensive variety of apps and plugins. Some of the core products that ServiceNow offers include:
ServiceNow’s IT Service Management (ITSM) function is designed to help enterprises accelerate their digital transformation effort. It involves using a set of workflows and tools to develop and manage IT services, handle incidents, manage service requests, or solve problems. Some of the ITSM capabilities of this platform include:

  • Incident management
  • Cost management
  • Survey and assessment
  • Configuration management database
  • Service level management

Related post: How to Create ServiceNow Incident Management Dashboard in Power B

ServiceNow’s Now platform is a dashboard for some of the company’s products and tools such as Nonstop cloud, anomaly detection, performance forecasting, peer benchmarking, and so on. Users can use this dashboard to build their own apps, create workflows and assign tasks for different users.
ServiceNow can be used to automate many of the repetitive tasks and manual processes that HR managers face on a daily basis. It provides a centralized platform where all HR workflows across various departments within an organization can be connected and managed. It simplifies decision-making and makes it easier for HR teams to deliver satisfactory services to employees.
ServiceNow transforms an organization’s customer service efforts by connecting the right people to the systems and workflows they need to deliver efficient customer service. In addition to features that help resolve customer tickets, ServiceNow’s service mapping feature helps to discover the root cause of issues quickly in order to resolve them faster.
Enterprises can use ServiceNow as a reliable Security Response engine. The platform has tools that make it easy to identify and respond to security incidents in your enterprise systems really fast. ServiceNow has a role-based dashboard and this makes it easy to set authorization levels based on individual roles. The workflows are synced with IT services which makes it easier to protect business processes. The ServiceNow Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) function also make it possible to effect enterprise-wide security monitoring across your entire platform.
Information Technology Asset Management (ITAM) is concerned with the management of the lifecycle of an organization’s IT assets. This applies to both software and hardware infrastructures. The goal of ITAM is to create a central database for an organization’s entire IT resources, optimize their performance and ensure that they are managed effectively and at a reduced cost.

What Industries Can Benefit from ServiceNow and How

What Industries Can Benefit from ServiceNow and How
ServiceNow offers solutions that can fit organizations from virtually any industry. Some of the other industries that may find ServiceNow useful for their operations include:


ServiceNow can serve as a centralized platform for connecting students, departments, faculties, and school staff for a modernized and seamless learning experience.

Energy and Utilities

Oil and gas companies and other businesses in the energy and utility sector can use ServiceNow to automate their critical operations and deliver more reliable services.

Financial Services

Businesses in the banking, insurance, and wealth management industries can create a more seamless experience for their customers with ServiceNow. Using the platform could empower agents and advisors in the industry to make right decisions, deliver a great service experience, and maintain compliance.


Government agencies can benefit from using a secured platform like ServiceNow to deliver optimized services and make better decisions. ServiceNow also has features that can be leveraged to streamline operations and engage citizens while increasing the efficiency of employees.


ServiceNow can help healthcare service providers deliver better healthcare outcomes and experiences for everyone. The platform can be used to streamline processes, integrate systems, and connect teams seamlessly.

ServiceNow Pricing: How Much Does ServiceNow Cost

ServiceNow Pricing: How Much Does ServiceNow Cost
ServiceNow’s pricing model is quite complex and the company does not publicly provide info about the exact cost of its services. Users interested in signing up for a service can find out the exact cost when they contact the company. The exact price to be paid depends on a matrix of different factors. These include:

Your Industry and Location

ServiceNow is a versatile platform used by companies across various industries. Users in these industries may have different software needs and different approaches to software procurement. ServiceNow considers the industry to calculate license prices.

Company Size

The size of a company is one of the first steps in ServiceNow’s custom quote calculation. Companies of different sizes have varying requirements and this determines how the services will be implemented.

Your ServiceNow Product and Package Preferences

Each ServiceNow product has at least two packages attached to it. As a general rule, the more functionalities or packages that a company chooses to add-on to their product, the bigger the price they’ll have to pay for the license.

ServiceNow Alternatives

servicenow alternatives

ServiceNow is a powerful and versatile tool with several business-boosting benefits for businesses in various industries. But while this platform might be an ideal solution for many businesses, it might not work for everyone. If you’re looking for an alternative to the ServiceNow platform, here are some worth checking out:

Jira is a simple and robust service desk software designed to help get everyone in an organization on the same page. The Jira platform also has a ticketing system built into it and provides a comprehensive overview of an organization's internal IT and support processes. Jira has end-to-end support features which make it easier for internal teams to collaborate seamlessly and community with customers and other business stakeholders.

Zendesk is a popular customer service software and knowledge management platform used by several businesses across various industries all over the world. It is primarily a customer support platform that connects businesses with customers across various channels. The platform also boasts of several other unique functionalities and advanced features that can potentially transform internal queries into a more seamless experience for users.

HelpJuice is essentially a knowledge base management solution. This simple and easy-to-use platform makes it easy for workers in an organization to get access to critical information needed for their daily operations. In addition to serving as a self-service platform, Helpjuice also has an intelligent analytics function and is easily customizable to the specific needs of an organization.

The ConnectWise platform is an IT management software tailored specifically for tech-centric companies and offers a range of solutions for them. The platform serves as a process automation tool and also has other intuitive features such as security optimization, help desk, client support, and other cutting-edge functionalities that businesses with a growing customer base will find valuable for them.

Help Scout is a cloud-based help desk and customer management solution that helps businesses manage their relationships with customers seamlessly. The platform provides a range of valuable services that help businesses deal with customer queries in a more personable way instead of treating them as mere numbers or tickets.

Final Words

ServiceNow is an all-in-one solution that provides Smart IT support services, employee workflow automation, and customer relationship management functions for users. The versatile platform can be used by various modern businesses across different industries.

Enterprises in search of an IT management or help desk solution to streamline their internal and customer-facing processes will find this platform quite useful for them. However, if you find ServiceNow’s pricing a bit too complex for you or you’re in search of a simpler solution with more specific features, you can consider any of these alternatives highlighted.

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