11 Top ITSM Tools In 2020: Gartner’s Magic Quadrant

From ServiceNow and BMC to Broadcom and IBM, here are the 11 vendors that made Gartner’s new Magic Quadrant For IT Service Management Tools.


Magic Quadrant For Service Management Tools

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for IT service management tools to enable businesses to respond to disruption such as supporting remote collaboration and enabling remote agents to share knowledge with each other.

There are more than 400 IT service management tools (ITSM) products in the market, although ServiceNow, BMC and Ivanti combined for 70 percent of the global market share in 2019, according to Gartner’s new 2020 Magic Quadrant For IT Service Management Tools.

ITSM tools help organizations manage the consumption of IT services, the infrastructure that supports the services and the businesses responsibility in delivering value with the services. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is the most common model for ITSM vendors, but some larger players are adopting containerized deployment approaches over public cloud infrastructure to offer more flexibility and choices for customers.

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Here are the 11 market leading companies that made Gartner‘s Magic Quadrant For IT Service Management Tools, along with assessments of each company’s strengths and weaknesses in the space.

Gartner Methodology For ITSM

To be included in Gartner’s 2020 Magic Quadrant for IT Service Management Tools, vendors needed at least $40 million in annual revenue derived from ITSM products with at least 20 percent year over year growth.

Vendors included in Gartner’s report need to sell and market products that include native functionality for IT incident management, problem management, change management, release governance, IT user self-service, IT knowledge management, service support analytics and reporting, and SLA management with regard to incident and service requests. The product versions Gartner considered had to be generally available by April 2020.

Gartner’s Magic Quadrant ranks vendors on their ability to execute and completeness of vision and places them in four categories: Niche Players (low on vision and execution), Visionaries (good vision but low execution), Challengers (good execution but low vision) and Leaders (excelling in both vision and execution). For this particular Magic Quadrant, no companies were included in the ‘Visionaries’ category.

Leader: ServiceNow

ServiceNow won the gold medal for both execution and vision on Gartner’s 2020 Magic Quadrant for IT Service Management Tools. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company’s service management product focuses on providing a single platform connecting ITSM and non-IT workflows, boosted by a set of native AIOps and ITOM extensions. Recently, ServiceNow made platform-level acquisitions to add native artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and natural language processing functionality.

Strength: ServiceNow has acquired several AI and ML focused companies to give it not only native IP to engineer into its platform, but in-house expertise to innovate these features over time, Gartner said. Many competitors rely on third-party partnerships for this extended functionality.

Weakness: The company lacks the license model flexibility of many of its closest competitors. “Customers with large numbers of occasional users struggle to justify its role-based named user licensing model and Gartner has observed low adoption of its all-user licensing model alternative,” Gartner said.

Leader: BMC

BMC won the silver medal in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for both vision and execution on a worldwide basis. The Houston, Texas-based company offers four ITSM products with its flagship BMC Helix product focused on providing deep service management capabilities with integrations into other BMC operation management solutions. BMC recently released an automation dashboard, introduced ChatOps integrations into third-party collaboration tools, and updated both discovery and AITSM functionality.

Strength: BMC Helix ITSM scored highest in the advanced I&O maturity use case in Gartner’s Critical Capabilities report, providing its suited to meet the requirements of all I&O organizations.

Weakness: Recent acquisitions of Compuware and RSM Partners reflect its recent investment in the mainframe, rather than ITSM, as well as relying on partnerships for some newer features. “These have resulted in a perception among some BMC customers of a shifting focus to the mainframe rather than ITSM,” said Gartner.

Leader: Ivanti

Ivanti ranks No. 3 for both execution and vision on Gartner’s Magic Quadrant. The Salt Lake City-based company’s Service Manager product is focused on driving more support automation for edge devices through a combination of automation and self-service capabilities. Last month, Ivanti announced its intentions to acquire MobileIron and Pulse Secure in deals to boost its endpoint device automation and security technology.

Strength: Ivanti extends its ITSM product with a deep set of integrated solutions for discovery, endpoint automation and self-enablement, Gartner said. Its Neurons for Healing provides a unique differentiation to proactively monitor and remediate common issues on an end user’s device.

Weakness: The company’s portfolio appears disjointed to customers rather than telling a cohesive story across its products. “As a result, customers often perceive Ivanti as a point solution rather than a strategic solution provider,” Gartner said.

Challenger: Cherwell Software

Cherwell Software ranks No. 4 for both vision and execution on Gartner’s Magic Quadrant. The Colorado Springs-based company’s Cherwell Service Management product provides ITSM capabilities built on a low-code platform and extension into other business workflows. Recent launches from Cherwell include a new UI, Slack Integration, sentiment analysis and virtual agent updates.

Strength: Cherwell has captured significant mind share among Gartner clients looking at intermediate ITSM tools. Gartner said it was the second most frequently shortlisted vendor by its clients last year, as well as previous years.

Weakness: Cherwell’s innovation has lagged behind many of its closest competitors. “Several new features released were incomplete, lacking capabilities found standard in other tools -- for example, live chat integration lacking basic presence detection,” said Gartner.

Niche Player: EasyVista

EasyVita ranks No. 5 for vision and among the middle of the pack for execution on Gartner’s Magic Quadrant. With headquarters in New York City and France, the company’s EV Service Manager product is focused on providing a low-overhead ITSM tool with guided knowledge management to support both business and IT consumers. Recent EasyVista launches include a new report builder, updated its virtual agent, and added several IT and business-consumer-facing UI updates.

Strength: EasyVista maintains one of the lowest overheads out of all the products Gartner evaluated, with concurrent licensing, quick-start implementation options and bundled asset management.

Weakness: A large portion of EasyVista’s sales are direct rather than through partner channels. “This will limit its global outreach, particularly in emerging markets where it has little presence, such as Asia, the Middle East and Latin America,” said Gartner.

Niche Player: Freshworks

Freshworks ranks No. 5 for execution and among the middle of the pack for vision on Gartner’s Magic Quadrant. The San Mateo, Calif.-based company’s Freshservice product offers a low-overhead ITSM tool that is easy to use and configure. Freshworks has recently released updates to core service management functionality including new conversational interfaces, while also acquiring AnsweriQ and Flint in 2020 for AI and ITOM functionality. The company is reportedly working toward an IPO possibly next year.

Strength: Freshworks achieved the highest percentage of year-over-year growth in its ITSM tool business of all the vendors in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant. Its Freshservice product has a large and growing installed base among SMBs.

Weakness: As the company targets larger and more mature customers, Gartner’s research shows its product lacks the level of IT operation management integration and functionality that mature customers expect from ITSM tools.

Niche Player: Axios Systems

Axios Systems ranks among the middle of the pack for both execution and vision on Gartner’s Magic Quadrant. The U.K.-based company’s Assyst product focuses on extending ITSM across multiple channels, augmented by a broader set of operations management and IT business management extensions. Recently, the company introduced new product bundling for its self-service offerings, updated mobile support features and added integrations into Azure Cognitive Services.

Strength: Gartner said the company actively leverages numerous customer communication channels to foster user communities, build advocacy and drive its product enhancement roadmap.

Weakness: Axios has the smallest market share out of all the vendors in the Magic Quadrant, “and growth in customer numbers and revenue has lagged behind that of its competitors,” said Gartner.

Niche Player: Micro Focus

Micro Focus ranks among the middle of the pack for both execution and vision on Gartner’s Magic Quadrant. The U.K.-based company’s Service Management Automation X (SMAX) provides core ITSM capabilities on a no-code platform integrated into Micro Focus’ broader suite of enterprise software products. Micro Focus has recently added a SaaS offering and the ability to extend SMAX with custom apps. Last year, Micro Focus brought its own and HPE’s software channels together to create a single partner program.

Strength: Micro Focus has designed its product around a codeless workflow configuration which addresses customer challenges to reduce implementation time and ongoing administrative resource requirements.

Weakness: The company has not generated increased interest around its SMAX product. “Based on Gartner client inquiries, Micro Focus seldom appears on shortlists for ITSM tools,” Gartner said.

Niche Player: ManageEngine

New to Gartner’s Magic Quadrant, ManageEngine ranks among the middle of the pack for execution and near the bottom for vision on the quadrant. ManageEngine, the IT management division of Zoho Corp., offers ServiceDesk Plus which provides a low-overhead ITSM tool with integration to its broader suite of products. Ove the past 12 months, ManageEngine released several updates to the core product such as introducing a release management module and expanded its graphical workflow support.

Strength: ManageEngine owns a broad portfolio of complementary products, including endpoint management, network monitoring, application monitoring and Active Directory management solutions that integrate into ServiceDesk Plus and provide cross-selling opportunities.

Weakness: The company lacks feature parity between its SaaS and on-premises versions. “On-premises customers do not have access to release management support and not all out-of-the-box integrations are available across both on-premises and SaaS offerings,” said Gartner.

Niche Player: Broadcom

Broadcom ranks among the bottom of the pack for both execution and vision on Gartner’s Magic Quadrant. The San Jose, Calif.-based company’s CA Service Management provide core ITSM capabilities integrated into Broadcom’s broader suite of enterprise software products. Broadcom recently released its chatbot, Aria, Docker container-based deployment and updated APIs. In November, Broadcom closed its blockbuster acquisition of Symantec’s $2.5 billion Enterprise Security business.

Strength: The company has many MSP customers on CA Service Management. Its multitenant architecture enables MSPs and hosting providers to support multiple customers on a single implementation of its product.

Weakness: Broadcom lacks a SaaS-based ITSM tool. “Instead, it relies on MSP- and partner-hosted versions of its on-premises product for customers looking for a cloud-based ITSM tool offering,” said Gartner.

Niche Player: IBM

Although a global IT titan in several markets, IBM ranks in last place for both execution and vision on Gartner’s Magic Quadrant. The Armonk, N.Y.-based company’s Control Desk product extends IBM’s ITSM capabilities to IBM Global Technology Services customers, along with those looking for deeper enterprise asset management integration. IBM has recently enabled container-based deployment and out-of-the-box integration into Watson Assistant. IBM this month unveiled plans to split into two by creating a publicly held spin-off of its behemoth Global Technology Services’ managed infrastructure services unit.

Strength: In addition to North American and European markets, IBM has extensive global partnerships and resources in Asia, where many other ITSM vendors lack a local presence.

Weakness: Gartner said IBM’s ITSM offerings have limited appeal outside of its existing customer base because the vendor typically gears its pricing and marketing around selling Control Desk as part of a larger managed service outsourcing, operational management or IT purchase.