The DCM Blog

How to Check Valid Users and Contracts for Workstations

By Mikko Juola

September 16, 2022
Lost Workstation

The number of personal devices in a CMDB can be staggering. In addition to being a productive tool for an employee, each device is a security risk since people come and go, and company laptops get assigned to temps and consultants. Money is tied up in these assets; you should know which device is covered by which contract.

How do you keep track of all these devices, financials, and security? We suggest two things that you can easily tackle with Data Content Manager:

  1. Make sure that workstations are assigned to ACTIVE users
  2. Ensure that a VALID contract covers each workstations.

This same approach applies if you track mobile- or any other devices in your CMDB.

Assign Workstations Only to Active Users

You can create reports or build business rules to identify orphan devices and then specific workflows to act in each scenario.

With Data Content Manager, you draw a simple blueprint, run an audit against it, and get the results. The Blueprint is a visual data model of your data requirements. As a result, you get all the reporting and remediation actions needed without a single line of code or additional reports that would increase your maintenance load.

And, when you schedule the audits, you will continue getting results regularly. Regular audits make it possible to catch and fix deviations as they happen and not afterward when they may have already caused problems.

With DCM, this is a straightforward thing to do. You draw a Blueprint with the Personal Computer CI as a root class and link that to the User table with an Assigned to relation. To determine if the users are active, you can add the condition “Active is True” for the relation.

Drawing this Blueprint takes about 2 minutes. When you run an audit against it, the audit results will flag any deviations. In this case, the audit results would clearly display which Personal Computers are assigned to a User who is no longer an Active User. Those would be, for example, people who have left the company.

Ensure That a Valid Contract Covers Workstations

Checking a single reference field and some additional conditions behind the reference is fairly simple. It gets trickier if you also want to check that a workstation has a matching Asset record and that a valid contract covers the Asset.

To complicate things further, what if a contract is required only for leased, loaned, or rented assets, not ones you own?

Checking all of this includes:

  • Asset reference from a CI to an asset
  • Assets Covered many-to-many relationship between an asset and a contract
  • Checking some conditions on the asset record
  • And Checking that the contract is valid

Again, you could probably build some scripted audits and custom reports to get a list of workstations. However, with DCM you can add these requirements into the Blueprint we already drew above.

Full Model with Contracts

Actionable Audit Results

Now that we have defined the requirements with our new Blueprint, let’s look at what the audit results could look like.

Below is a screenshot of an Audit results overview grouped by blueprint elements. Blueprint elements are parts of the Blueprint that are checked and reported separately by DCM’s Audit Engine. It is based on demo data.

The audit results show that 12% of the workstations are not assigned to anybody, and 1% are assigned to inactive users. Furthermore, you can see that 215 workstations should have had a contract, but half of them did not. Finally, a fourth of the contracts were no longer valid.

Audit Results

The above example shows results for a single audit run. When you schedule the audits to run regularly, you will be able to discover these deviations as they happen. The results and trends are easy to track with DCM Audit Dashboards (see below).

Again, no code or custom reports are needed for this. You only need to define your requirements in the Blueprint, and DCM takes care of the rest.

Audit Overview Dashboard

In Summary

People come and go, and so do workstations and other assets. The lifecycle for end-user devices is relatively short, but a lot of money can be saved or lost depending on how these assets are managed. The security aspect is also considerable: Every lost device is a potential risk.

We needed only one Blueprint to track both the active user assignments, as well as the contracts. Drawing the Blueprint for this exercise takes about 15 minutes and is a matter of dragging and dropping things on a canvas. Again, no scripting, custom reports, reliance on developers, or time-consuming release cycles.

We discussed here only one simple yet powerful example of what Data Content Manager can do. Here are some other examples:

On a broader scale, most of our customers use DCM for Accelerating CSDM Alignment in one way or another. 

If CSDM is on your plate and you haven’t looked at our free CSDM – The Recipe for Success eBook, you should.

Click here to get your free copy of CSDM – The Recipe for Success.

Try it Yourself

You can try this for free if you have a non-production environment that contains a reasonably recent copy of your data.

We offer a free trial of Data Content Manager and can run this use case together with you. You do not need to invest time into learning the product – we will help you set it up and create the example Blueprints. However, you get the results, and the results can be sobering.

Get a Free Guided Trial

To see how Data Content Manager works in your own environment, please request a Guided Trial from us. A Guided Trial allows you to experience the power of Data Content Manager in your own ServiceNow instance, with your own data. We will guide you through installation, creating Blueprints, running Audits, and interpreting results.

The results are yours to keep.

There’s no cost or commitment since we know this is the easiest way for you to experience the power of Data Content Manager.

Free Trial

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