ServiceNow or Service Not?

Written By: Michael Huang
Date: August 26, 2019

ServiceNow is a cloud-based workflow solutions software platform designed to help organizations function efficiently. It can provide efficiencies for multiple areas such as IT, HR, security operations and customer service management. Currently this public company has a high valuation on Wall Street with about a 1,300% jump from its initial public offering price of $18 a share in 2012.

ServiceNow appears to be continuously improving its IT operations management (ITOM) to better fit customer needs. They promise ongoing value in the form of integrating and creatively automating workflows. Some in the industry consider it one of the top ERP systems available in the market.

Acquisitions such VendorHawk in 2018 show commitment to the SaaS subscription model and the rewards that come with it. This goes hand in hand with ServiceNow’s software asset management (SAM) solutions. The platform generally rates highly with customers but comes with what many consider a high cost.

Some ServiceNow features worth considering

There are a number of ServiceNow features that draw organizations to the technology. Below are just a few examples that you may want to consider as part of your ERP software selection process.

Automation. Machine-learning capabilities are directly incorporated to the platform. AI assists customers and provides self-service and problem support.

Easy to Use Code Development. Use codeless workflows using a natural language environment to speed up business processes. Some say this allows more focus on the outcome of their project rather than on the coding itself.

Performance Analytics. Real time data and useful forecasting dashboards consistent with what we are seeing in many modern software applications.

Customer Service Management. Customer-centric software enables the spearheading of problems faster and potentially decreasing errors. Performance analytics are strong.

Some ServiceNow considerations to be aware of

In addition to the features mentioned above, there are a number of limitations and risks to be aware of as well. Below are a few examples.

Global reach. ServiceNow has reached to newer places with more regions reporting better availability. If you need on premise or perpetual licensing this might not be the best choice.

Implementation time. Reports of long implementations times (or overruns) are not uncommon, including management of tools requiring more time/resources than expected.

Price, Price, Price. Customers are frequently confused on how to achieve favorable deals. Strict licensing, named user only subscriptions and bundling of non-core product features are also mentioned. Many clients describe ServiceNow as an “expensive solution.” Pricing may turn off smaller companies.

Flexibility can equal complexity. The platform covers a wide range of possible activities and possibilities which can add complexity. As an example, terminology, labeling and understanding categorization is not described as intuitive or straight forward.


ServiceNow provides a real-time option for businesses wanting to broadly improve their processes. It offers a customizable and sometimes complex array of tools. While they have shown strength in innovation, they may have weaknesses in communication and pricing.

Independent ERP consultants can help you objectively compare ServiceNow to other potential ERP and related systems relative to your needs. For example, Third Stage Consulting has built a positive reputation helping companies with everything from digital transformation strategies, to negotiating the price of software on your behalf. Our agnostic nature and mission is to help you succeed beyond your software choices.

Please feel free to contact us to discuss your enterprise software and digital transformation needs. We are happy to be a sounding board as you continue your journey!

Michael Huang

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