July 28, 2022

ServiceNow vs Cherwell – solving the ITSM riddle

Why ServiceNow and Cherwell are among the most popular ITSM platforms, and how to choose the one that better suits the needs of your business.


ServiceNow and Cherwell are widely used in organizations to manage service desk and IT processes. ITSM platforms are constantly evolving and becoming more sophisticated, and the task to choose the best one for your needs is getting harder. Tools like ServiceNow and Cherwell have a significant impact on the companys processes and workflows, and it is not easy to find the balance between functionality, ease of use and pricing. Of course, there are other factors that need to be considered, as well.

In this article, our goal is not only to help you choose the ITSM platform that will best suit your specific needs, but also to provide a solution in the cases when you simply cannot choose only one. For example, your team might be using ServiceNow and your client might be using Cherwell, or you might have two teams using different platforms.

Lets dive in and see how these ITSM riddles can be solved.

About ServiceNow

ServiceNow is an IT Service Management platform that helps large enterprises manage their IT operations. It is cloud-based and enables automation of workflows and helpdesk processes. Being highly customizable, ServiceNow provides personalized experiences and can assign work tasks to representatives based on skills, capacity and availability. It visualizes the processes and operations of teams in a simple and intuitive way and assists employees to respond more efficiently to all types of issues and requests. Teams become more agile and flexible, and customers get faster and more precise solutions, which boosts customer satisfaction.

ServiceNow main features:

  • Incident, ticket and change management respond to major incidents by aggregating actionable information in a singlepane view.
  • Process and workflow automation build and manage multiple complex workflows in a single, no code design environment.
  • Selfservice portal create portals that empower customers to resolve issues and submit cases and requests for themselves.
  • Real-time updates ensure that users viewing a responsive dashboard always see the most up-to-date information.
  • Service level management gather service requirements and monitor and manage SLAs.
  • Automatic assignment and notifications automatically assign work items to agents based on availability, capacity, and skills.
  • Reports and dashboards easily create and configure customized reports and dashboards to stay up to date with performance data.
  • Asset management manage your infrastructure, operations, and field services with the built-in asset management capabilities
  • Data encryption, privacy and access control maintain full control over your data by choosing from multiple flexible encryption options.

ServiceNow uses predictive intelligence and workflow automation to help organizations become digitally enabled, connected, and smart.

About Cherwell

Cherwell is an IT service management platform that helps organizations manage and automate service and helpdesk processes. It has been acquired by Ivanti, Inc. in 2021 and has cloud and on-premise versions. Cherwell offers a variety of configurable features which enable rapid customization. Maybe the most distinctive feature of the platform is the immediate deployment and ease of use it comes with. It is not hard to setup even for a novice. Cherwell has an exceptional adaptability to new IT and business requirements. This way it provides IT teams with great flexibility and helps businesses scale with minimal overhead.

Cherwell main features:

  • Complete IT Service Desk submit and fulfill requests, report issues, check status, and remediate incidents.
  • Out-of-the-box ITIL best practices certified for 11 ITIL processes, offering standard classifications, sample workflows and process models to simplify implementations
  • Change Management simplify the configuration and experience of one of the most strategic ITSM processes.
  • IT self-service portal configure it to provide role-based access, reduce the cost of IT support, while elevating customer satisfaction
  • One-step actions initiate one or more defined actions and create simple or complex workflows without any code
  • Advanced knowledge management capture and leverage organizational knowledge and make it easily available within the self-service portal
  • Reporting and dashboards receive real-time at-a-glance information, initiate actions and commands, monitor critical metrics, analyze trends and quickly create custom dashboards
  • Configuration Management centrally manage Configuration Items, and visualize relationships.
  • IT Asset Management track and manage the life cycle of supported hardware and software assets.

Thousands of businesses rely on Cherwells adaptable platform to automate and scale their service management, reporting and workflows.

Similarities and differences

ServiceNow and Cherwell are both cloud-based, feature-rich and flexible ITSM solutions that are widely used across enterprises. They are among the giants in service management platforms and provide thorough workflow automation and process management capabilities.

Both Cherwell and ServiceNow are highly adaptable and scalable and have the major features organizations need in order to handle their ITSM operations. The two platforms offer full-service desk management, workflow automation, self-service portals, IT asset management, comprehensive reports and dashboards, omni-channel availability and a lot more.

Also, both ServiceNow and Cherwell can be used to manage not only sales and support service requests, but also processes in HR departments, digital marketing teams, etc. They are not limited to just support and may have applications across the whole enterprise structure.

They are quite similar in their major features, but still each of them has some unique assets:

Cherwell is super easy to use and manage, and even a novice can handle it. It is optimized for ITIL and provides users with multiple ITIL-verified methods such as incident, problem, request, and event management. It also allows users to leverage ITIL service transition processes including change, configuration, and release management. Cherwell supports process customization that lets teams adjust the platform to the workflows they are already familiar with. Requests can be created from e-mails sent to an alias, which is great for non-experienced employees or customers.

ServiceNow ITSM is a highly in-depth platform, with great flexibility that goes beyond simple process management. It has an excellent CMDB functionality, as well as detailed filtering and interdependency options. With ServiceNow teams can easily analyze and classify high volume tickets and configure multiple tasks with repeated information within the catalogue feature. There is an individual overview, so each user can track the tickets assigned to them and manage their workload.

Other differences that might be important when making a decision:

Cherwell is simpler to setup and deploy, while ServiceNow has more in-depth options for fine tuning. In general, Cherwell is super adaptable and flexible, but might lack some specific in-depth settings that are available in ServiceNow. On the other hand, ServiceNow requires more expertise and knowledge to be setup, while Cherwell is straight forward even for beginners.

With ServiceNow organizations have the ability to create custom workflows for different departments, agents, and even customers, and with Cherwell this is more difficult.

While in ServiceNow the extraction of reports is very precise, it might have problems with loading large reports and some users notice poor loading times. With Cherwell users report that the on-premise version is much faster than the web version.

Overall, both solutions have every major feature that businesses need. Cherwell is more competitively priced, but it is a bit better suited for mid-size and small businesses. ServiceNow is more widely used by large corporations and enterprises.

Comparison chart

Here are some side-by-side comparisons to help you decide between ServiceNow and Cherwell.

ServiceNowCherwellProduct qualityExcellentExcellentEase of useGoodExcellentQuality of supportVery goodGreatTrainingGreatExcellentAutomationExcellentGoodDeploymentsCloud, Windows, Linux, MobileCloud, MobileAdministration consoleGreatGoodReports and analyticsGreatGoodIncident managementExcellentGreatProcess workflowGreatExcellentSurveysGoodNot availableDashboardsGreatGoodAccess managementGreatGoodRelease managementNot availableGoodValue vs PriceGoodExcellent

If you are using both ServiceNow and Cherwell

Very often in enterprises different departments organize software purchases on their own and each department is used to working with a specific platform. So one of your departments may be using ServiceNow and another one Cherwell. All the data is already accumulated in the respective software and the employees are familiar with it. It would take a lot of resources to switch from ServiceNow to Cherwell or the other way around.

Another common scenario is when a client is using one tool and your service desk team is using the other. The teams of the two companies need to be in sync but none of them wants to change platforms.

In such cases an integration between ServiceNow and Cherwell will be greatly beneficial. When the two platforms are connected, data between them can be transferred automatically and the relevant information will reach the respective team members in real time. Besides speeding up and improving communication, a Cherwell ServiceNow integration will also eliminate the need for manual transfer of data, and thus greatly reduce errors, delays, and omission of important details.

ZigiOps is a powerful no-code integration platform that can help you integrate Cherwell and ServiceNow in a few clicks. It is easy even for non-technical users to setup integrations, as there are pre-defined customizable out-of-the-box templates that can be activated in minutes. At the same time, ZigiOps is highly flexible and can accommodate even the most complex use cases with its advanced filtering and mapping capabilities.

Having ServiceNow and Cherwell in sync will improve cross-team collaboration, speed up issue resolutions and boost customer satisfaction. As a result the overall business results will be significantly boosted.

Book a demo and see how you can do this with ZigiOps.


Both ServiceNow ITSM and Cherwell ITSM are excellent comprehensive tools that help companies manage service requests, automation tasks, and process optimization. The platform it uses can have a significant impact on a companys processes, and it is crucial to choose the right tool. As platforms are constantly evolving, this is definitely not an easy task. There are also cases when you cannot choose just one tool and you need to use both Cherwell and ServiceNow.

However, if you need to use more than one platform, there is an easy solution. Integrate ServiceNow with Cherwell and get data seamlessly transferred from one to the other bi-directionally. Even the most complex scenarios can be turned to your benefit with a powerful integration tool like ZigiOps.

Book a demo and see how it works.

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