With 200+ viable choices in the market, of course, there are options for IT departments looking to deploy or replace their current ITSM solution. ServiceNow is looked at as the “tool to beat”; however, is it the best tool for you?  Have you considered looking at ServiceNow Competitors?

ServiceNow Competitors may be right for you

While no one will be fired for choosing ServiceNow over the competition, sometimes you get more from the “little guy” than you do from the goliath.

Back in the ’80s, when computing power was beginning to rise, no one got fired for buying IBM. The same can now be said of ServiceNow. It offers a robust, enterprise-level end-to-end solution for a variety of organizational use cases with good features and functionality. It’s a scalable cloud solution that enables both process workflow automation and a variety of technology integrations.

However, the solution comes with a hefty price and tool complexity that makes customers sometimes question the value received vs. the technology’s high licensing and adoption costs. This is especially true for organizations struggling to gain budget approval to address a simple business need without “breaking the bank.”

Hence, if your operational service platform needs consist of a traditional ITSM, IT Asset Management (ITAM), Configuration Management Database (CMDB), and/or Discovery functionality, ServiceNow may not be the best solution for you.

Many ServiceNow competitors offer robust ITSM applications without the heavy ServiceNow licensing fees and adoption costs, making even large organizations desiring to “shop around” before taking the ServiceNow plunge. When this occurs, the organization takes a more in-depth look at their “real” organizational requirements for addressing the service management, IT asset management, CMDB, and/or discovery gaps in place today. Quickly realizing that many ServiceNow competitors, such as Virima, provide this integrated functionality at an improved value, and lower cost, than the ServiceNow platform being proposed.

Having a configuration management database
Having a CMDB enables ITSM technologies to leverage device and asset configuration data to support service management processes such as Service Request Management, Incident Management, Knowledge Management, and Problem Management.  Also, an out-of-box technology integration between Change Management and the CMDB enables organizations to evaluate the risks of proposed change requests to infrastructure devices and ensure that configuration changes are properly reflected within the CMDB.  A value that is immediately realized by all IT areas and related IT, stakeholders.

Why do so many CMDB Initiatives Fail?
The #1 reason CMDB initiatives fail is due to having too many manual support processes to build and maintain a CMDB.  Change within IT is constant, and when timely manual updates are not made the CMDB data becomes outdated and inaccurate.  The stakeholder confidence in the CMDB data and its accuracy erodes, and the gold standard data source becomes disparate spreadsheets and databases within departments. This results in the CMDB becoming unreliable for operational and business needs.

Application and Service Dependency Mapping
Application and Service Dependency Mapping is another common requirement when deploying a CMDB solution.  Mapping device/application/service interdependences offers many benefits to IT Service Management operational processes (e.g. incident, problem, change, configuration, knowledge) and can help with compliance, financial, and ITSec audits. ServiceNow does offer a dependency and service mapping solution, but here again, both the cost and complexity to license and deploy can be quite high.  Unfortunately, the number of ServiceNow Competitors that offers a unified ITSM, CMDB, Discovery, Service Mapping solution shrinks quite extensively.

Given how critical an accurate CMDB with well-mapped services is to realizing ITSM’s full value, why settle for anything less? Many ServiceNow buyers are challenged here as too much of the project budget goes to deploying the core ITSM functionality resulting in difficultly to acquire ServiceNow’s discovery and service mapping functionality due to unexpected increase in the CMDB project budget being required.

So instead of thinking only ServiceNow can offer the “ideal” solution to deliver IT service management excellence, consider ServiceNow competitor solutions. Solutions like Virima may be able to offer everything needed operationally at a significantly lower cost and with much less complexity.

 

What if the Investment in ServiceNow ITSM has already been made?

To this point, we have discussed competitive offerings to ServiceNow ITSM. However, what if you’ve already made that investment, and you’re just looking for an alternative to ServiceNow’s discovery and service mapping? Or, perhaps seeking an alternative IT asset management (ITAM) and/or CMDB solution that can be integrated into the ServiceNow platform?

Virima offers standalone discovery, CMDB, and ITAM capabilities with premium features and functionality that fully integrates with ServiceNow ITSM. This comes at significantly lower licensing costs than ServiceNow’s offering and is easier to deploy. Virima has both agentless and agent-based discovery technologies that are included with built-in automatic application dependency and service topology mapping functionality.

What Advice does Virima Offer?
Do what our customers have done: keep an open mind, perform some research, and identify two to three solutions to compare with in-house trials.  It starts with understanding your basic needs as well as what additional capabilities you would like to have.  It’s easy to get caught up in a lot of marketing and sales hype, but figure out what’s realistic from an organizational and budget perspective.

Here are some key points to consider:

  • Do you require more than traditional ITSM functionality?
    • Incident Management
    • Problem Management
    • Change Management
    • Request Fulfillment
    • Knowledge Management
    • Survey Management
    • Service Asset Configuration Management
    • Release Management
    • Self-Service Portal
    • Contract/Vendor Management
  • Is your environment well documented?
    • Do you know about all your hardware and software assets?
    • Can you build a trustworthy CMDB with what you have?
    • How will it be maintained?
    • Are critical dependencies and relationships fully understood?
  • How will the solution be implemented and supported?
    • Trained and dedicated FTE’s
    • Vendor and contract resources
    • Combination of all three?
    • What’s the process and time to implement?
  • Is the solution easy to deploy and flexible enough to meet your existing processes or will you be forced into significant changes?
  • Will the vendor be responsive to your unique needs/challenges?
  • Will it make a positive difference in the way you operate today?

Determining the Right Solution

Before spending more than is needed for a solution, organizations should determine exactly which features are important to them and purchase a solution that’s right-sized to their need and pocketbook. ServiceNow’s high price tag is the cost of its ability to offer end-to-end enterprise service management capabilities as well as domain separation for managed service providers (MSPs). And many of these features aren’t needed by most organizations.

At the end of the day, solutions from ServiceNow competitors can offer fantastic tactical support for all of the asset and service management needs of the average IT organization. Selecting the best software platform for ITAM, ITSM, and CMDB comes down to whether you get more value from the “little guy” or the goliath. Compare ServiceNow competitors. You may find the “little guy” to compare favorably against the goliath. Why not check out what functionality Virima offers or contact us to schedule a demo here.

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Mike Bombard

Mike Bombard COO Virima Technologies - Mike joined Virima Technologies (Atlanta, GA) in 2010 and oversees Virima ITAM/ITSM SaaS product sales, marketing and field services organizations. He has been providing solutions to solve complex IT challenges in a variety of industries for over 25 years.