What Is ServiceNow IT Service Management?


Information Technology Service Management (ITSM) is a set of workflows and tools for optimally developing, delivering, and managing IT services. ITSM is used to handle incidents, service requests, problems, and changes—all of which are typically linked through an ITSM platform such as ServiceNow. ITSM encompasses a wide range of IT services; common examples include:


Service Desk support


Asset provisioning and management


Device lifecycle management


Software licensing and SLA (Service Level Agreement) management


Identity management

Why businesses need ITSM

Unlike other IT-focused service units such as network management and cybersecurity management, ITSM focuses primarily on meeting the IT service needs of consumers of technology; this diverse group includes employees, partners, vendors, and customers. ITSM stresses continuous process improvement to optimize its effectiveness and impact.

A 2017 study by the CIO WaterCooler network found that businesses rely on ITSM for two main purposes: 48% said they use ITSM to ensure the quality of IT services, and 35% said they use ITSM to support the customer experience.

Most businesses understand the advantages of a holistic ITSM strategy. The 2017 CIO WaterCooler network study found that 89% of businesses see ITSM as a “value add” to the organization. Furthermore, 52% of businesses report that departments beyond IT have a solid understanding of the value of a holistic ITSM strategy, according to a 2017 Forbes Insights study.

Why businesses choose ServiceNow for ITSM

ServiceNow is a cloud computing company that licenses a ready-built ITSM platform for streamlining and automating IT services. More than 4,400 enterprise customers worldwide use ServiceNow, and ServiceNow serves 42% of Global 2000 (G2K) companies, according to a 2018 MorningStar report.

A 2017 Forrester Research study found the following to be key benefits of the ServiceNow ITSM platform:


Up to a 6% increase in internal customer satisfaction scores


Cleaner audits with fewer compliance violations


Increased business velocity as a result of fulfilling service requests more quickly and easily

ServiceNow has applied its same core development principles to the design of other business services, including CSM (Customer Service Management), ITBM (Information Technology Business Management), PPM (Project Portfolio Management), and ITOM (Information Technology Operations Management).

However, the company’s core product offering remains its ITSM platform. Nasdaq reported that 19 of the top 20 deals that ServiceNow struck during 2017 Q4 involved ITSM.

The ServiceNow ITSM platform is one of the most successful ITSM platforms on the market. The research firm Gartner ranked ServiceNow as one of only two Leaders in the ITSM industry in its 2018 ITSM Magic Quadrant. ServiceNow has been identified as a Gartner ITSM Industry Leader for the past five consecutive years.

Gartner 2018 ITSM Magic Quadrant

Quantified benefits of ServiceNow ITSM

ServiceNow ITSM is praised by enterprise customers for its ability to improve the quality of IT services, boost end-user satisfaction scores, and increase the flexibility and agility of the company’s IT team. ServiceNow’s ITSM platform does all of these things while reducing long-term ITSM costs.

In 2017, Forrester Research conducted an in-depth study of seven businesses that recently started using ServiceNow for their ITSM needs. Forrester quantified the following as benefits of ServiceNow ITSM:


66% reduction in the monthly volume of service and incident requests


25% reduction in the monthly volume of high-priority incidents


20% increase in the overall capacity of the IT team, enabling employees to handle a wider variety of incidents


$4 million in reductions to infrastructure costs over three years


$3 million in efficiency savings over three years


15-minute reduction in how long the average employee spends to make a service request

Where ITSM and ServiceNow are headed

The ITSM industry is increasingly moving to the cloud. Different analysts have produced different estimates for how fast the cloud-based ITSM industry is growing, but analysts agree that ITSM is on a clear upward trajectory.


The research firm Markets and Markets estimates that the global cloud-based ITSM market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 14.8% through 2021.


Research by Technavio estimates that the cloud ITSM industry will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 9% through 2022.

ServiceNow as a cloud-based platform is positioned to capitalize on these market trends. Forbes Magazine reported that ServiceNow now claims half of the ITSM market, and has eclipsed legacy ITSM companies like BMC Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Cherwell Software, and CA Technologies. In 2018, Forbes named ServiceNow the most innovative company in the world, in large part because of the success of the ITSM platform.

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