ServiceNow vs. Appian: Which One is Better  5 min read


Between ServiceNow and Appian, which is the best solution for your organization’s service management?  

Are considering implementing a software solution to improve service management in your organization? You have probably come across ServiceNow and Appian as options.   

In this sense, knowing both tools in depth will give you the insight you need to make the best decision for your company.   

In this post, we will compare ServiceNow and Appian to help you decide which one is the best option to meet your company’s operational and business needs.   

What to look for in a Service Management Software?  

Any service management software you are considering implementing in your organization should excel in the following areas:    

  • Ability to automate processes    
  • Levels of customization available  
  • Industries they serve best  

ServiceNow vs. Appian  

Ability to automate processes  



The ServiceNow platform offers three dedicated capabilities for process creation and automation:   

  • ServiceNow Process Automation Designer  

The ServiceNow Process Automation Designer is a feature that allows you to create and modify organizational workflows to create unified experiences across your organization.  

  • ServiceNow Flow Designer  

The Flow Designer is ServiceNow’s automated process builder. With this tool, you can work on new or previously created workflows without needing to code.  

  • Flow Template Builder  

This tool allows you to create reusable workflow templates appliable in any area of your organization.   


In terms of Appian’s process automation capabilities, we have three elements that summarize its automation potential. 

  • Appian Process Mining  

For instance, this Appian functionality allows you to analyze existing processes in your organization, gathering information about activities and tasks that the same tool will then use to find possible automation opportunities.  

  • Decision Tables Designer  

Besides the Process Miner, Appian offers you the Decision Table Designer, tool that allows the user to capture process logic without using code, in an easy-to-read format and using an element called “Decision” (a kind of rule/action within the platform).  

  • Process modeling   

With this tool, you can describe graphically any process within your organization. For example, Appian translates your organization’s workflows into automatically executable processes, orchestrating intelligent automation in any corporate application.  

Winner: ServiceNow

Although it’s an even fight in this section, ServiceNow has a slight edge over Appian because of its focus.   

While Appian focuses on providing an automated schematization of the processes to be automated, it lacks the potential to create processes from scratch.   

However, ServiceNow, with tools such as Flow Designer, Process Automation Designer, or Flow Template Builder, gives the user the power to create or modify from scratch any organizational process, all from a platform that prioritizes visuals over code in the creative process.    

Level of customization  



In this regard, ServiceNow offers ServiceNow Studio, an app that allows you to develop applications from ServiceNow without the need for technical coding knowledge.   

In addition, ServiceNow’s UI Builder allows you to create interfaces and pages for workspaces and portals thanks to an easily updatable library of components.   

So, if your agents have coding skills, they can use CSS to customize the applications, interfaces, and platforms they build, besides any workflows they want to implement. 

Otherwise, they can rely on ServiceNow’s Flow Designer to digitize and automate processes without requiring code or technical knowledge.   


On the other hand, with its SAIL technology, Appian allows you to create or modify portals and all the necessary resources to build user-friendly processes.  

That is, if you need to modify processes and workflows, Appian offers a low-code platform to address these inefficiencies, creating or modifying procedures or applications that address a specific organizational problem.  

Nevertheless, the applications and solutions you need are necessarily pre-built internally by Appian’s development team or externally by Appian’s partners; for example, if you want to customize them aesthetically, you can go to its Solutions Customization Suite.   

Winner: ServiceNow  

Despite offering multiple options when customizing applications, pages, and portals, ServiceNow offers its users a wider option range than Appian.   

Likewise, when it comes to creating applications, Appian does not offer freedom when it comes to creating new models. For instance, any work done will be based on templates previously created by Appian’s product engineers or authorized partners.     

In which industry do they excel?  



  • Banking and Finance  
  • Healthcare  
  • Manufacturing and fabrication  
  • Public Sector  
  • Technology Industry  
  • Telecommunications  
  • Logistics services  


  • Manufacturing, energy, and utilities  
  • Education and science  
  • Financial services and telecommunications  
  • Government institutions, healthcare, and insurance  
  • Retail and transportation  

Winner: ServiceNow 

While we could consider this a technical tie, since both tools try to fit organizations in similar industries, we can also give a slight edge to ServiceNow here.   

Why? Because ServiceNow is not only designed to fit in any industry but also offers applications and platforms designed for specific use cases. 

In this regard, platforms like Public Sector Digital Services Core for the public sector or the Financial Services Operations are two of many other examples of tools specifically conceived to adapt to specific use cases.    

ServiceNow vs. Appian. Who is the winner?  

Although it is a close battle, ServiceNow is the winner this time.    

Why? Because ServiceNow gives you the power your organization needs (especially with large organizations) to manage all its services, improving operations with:  

  • Automating processes and workflows across your entire organization.  
  • Creation of applications, workflows, and organizational portals with Low-Code  
  • Platforms and applications designed for specific use cases  

All this and more, to save time, reduce costs and improve the performance of your operation.    

So, would you like to see how ServiceNow can improve your organization’s operations?   

At GB Advisors, we offer you the training, support, and advice you need to choose and deploy software tools like ServiceNow in your organization.     

The tool that best fits your organization’s operational needs is here, contact us!    

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