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3 min read

Jira Service Management vs Jira Software: What’s the difference?

Deniz Timartas
Deniz Timartas
3 September 23 ITSM
What's the difference between Atlassian's Jira Service Management and Jira Software

When it comes to maximising the effectiveness of teamwork, businesses need to select the right collaboration software. Both Jira Software and Jira Service Management (JSM) are powerful tools that offer numerous benefits to organisations looking to streamline their service delivery and communications. However, sometimes, there is a slight overlap between the functions of the tools that isn’t always obvious. This makes it difficult for non-experts to decide which is best for their unique needs.

In this blog post, we’ll highlight the main capabilities, use cases, and differences between Jira Software and Jira Service Management to help you understand which fits your team best.

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Explained: Jira, Jira Software, and Jira Service Management

What is Jira?

Originally, Jira was designed to support software teams tracking bugs and other issues. However, as it became successful and agile development became more popular, Atlassian expanded the Jira platform, offering its tools and services to support different teams and address their unique challenges.

Currently, the Jira tool is available in three formats: Jira Work Management (previously Jira Core), Jira Software, and Jira Service Management. Each application has a different focus and is geared towards different user types.

What is Jira Software?

Jira Software is a specialised tool that helps software development teams with project management, bug tracking, and issue tracking. The software includes various features for conducting scrum and agile project management. With its multiple Kanban and scrum boards,  teams can efficiently visualise workflows and track complex projects in real time.

One of the prominent features of Jira Software is its flexibility—users can easily create custom workflows to suit their specific demands. Plus, the tool also provides robust reporting features that help teams stay on top of their work and make data-driven decisions.

​​Jira Software is licensed based on total users; every user who interacts directly with Jira Software in any way will need a licence. 

What is Jira Service Management?

Jira Service Management (formerly known as Jira Service Desk) is service desk software built for teams who receive incoming issues and requests from other teams/customers.

The tool offers an intuitive self-service customer portal that allows users to create requests and check their status. With several features—such as workflow automation, customisable SLAs, rules-driven alerts and notifications, and dynamic work queues—Jira Service Management can easily support the varied needs of any service-driven organisation.

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Key differences between Jira Software and Jira Service Management

Here is a table that summarises the key differences between the two products:

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Jira Service Management and Jira Software tool comparison

Can you use both Jira Software and JSM?

Absolutely, but whether it's necessary to have both really depends on your specific business needs. 

In some cases, using both tools can optimise different aspects of your business. For instance, you could handle your development projects in Jira software. Once they are released to the customer, you can offer them a portal from Jira Service Management to submit issues or new requests. 

Also, since both products are built on a common platform, you can seamlessly integrate them for effective collaboration between your development, operations, support, and IT teams. Service teams can address customer problems and requests by linking Jira Service Management tickets to issues in Jira Software, if or when an issue needs developer attention. Development teams can also jump in to view and comment on issues in your service project.

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Summing up

Reading this blog, you should understand how Jira Software differs from Jira Service Management. While both tools provide robust project management solutions, the correct answer for you will always depend on the unique needs of your team and the goals they want to accomplish.

If you need support choosing the best software solution, contact our expert team. 

Speak with our experts
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