Asset and CI management

Asset and configuration item (CI) management refers to creating assets, setting appropriate states and substates, synchronizing assets and CIs, managing consumables, and retiring assets.

Relationship between asset and CI

It is important to manage the relationship between assets and associated CIs. Assets are tracked with the Asset Management application, which focuses on the financial aspects of owning property. Configuration items are stored in the CMDB, which is used to track items and make them available to users.

When an asset has a corresponding configuration item, the asset record and the configuration item record are kept synchronized with two business rules.

  • Update CI fields on change (on the Asset [alm_asset] table)
  • Update Assets on change (on the Configuration Item [cmdb_ci] table)
Note: Assets and CIs can be synchronized only if they are logically mapped.

Asset-CI mapping and synchronization

The State field of asset record and Status field of CI record are synchronized so that changes made on one form trigger the same update on the corresponding form, ensuring consistent reporting.

Note: The ServiceNow platform synchronizes updates between assets and configuration items only if the asset and configuration item are pointed toward each other.

The following diagram illustrates the concept of Asset-CI mapping and synchronization.

Figure 1. Asset-CI mapping and synchronization: An Overview
Overview of Asset-CI mapping and synchronization process

This synchronization and mapping is based on the following factors:

  • Asset state and CI status are not mapped on one-to-one basis; rather they are mapped to the most logical counterpart on the other table. For example, for a hardware asset set to state In Stock - Pending disposal, the corresponding CI is set to In Disposition with no substate.
  • This synchronization happens between the asset’s State field and the following CI fields:
    • Install Status field: Install Status does not have a sub status and must be used for non-hardware CIs.
    • Hardware Status and Sub status field: Hardware Status is visible only for Hardware CI.
  • As a best practice, ServiceNow, Inc. recommends that you drive changes by updating the state on the Asset form.

    The Asset-CI synchronization can be driven in the following ways:

    • Asset to CI synchronization: Change to the asset’s status updates the logically mapped CI’s Install Status or Hardware Status and sub status.
    • CI to Asset: Change to the CI’s Install Status or Hardware Status updates the logically mapped asset’s states and sub states.
  • For a CMDB hardware CI, if both Hardware Status and Install Status is updated, the Hardware Status change is considered for mapping the corresponding state of the asset.
  • CI’s Install Status and Hardware Status work independently. There is no correlation between them. CI’s Hardware Status change does not change CI’s Install Status and vice versa. To avoid confusion, keeping both status for CMDB CI Hardware is not recommended.

List of the fields that get synced between Asset and CI

When modifying any of following fields on the asset or CI record, the same field on the corresponding record is automatically updated (with the exception of the Cost field, which is informational-only on the CI record).

Following is a list of fields that are synched.

  • Asset tag
  • Assigned
  • Assigned to
  • Checked in
  • Checked out
  • Company
  • Cost (synchs in only one direction: asset to CI)
  • Cost center
  • Delivery date
  • Department
  • Due in
  • Due
  • GL account
  • Install date
  • Invoice number
  • Justification
  • Lease id
  • Location
  • Managed by
  • Model
  • Order date
  • Order received
  • Ordered
  • Owned by
  • PO number
  • Purchase date
  • Purchased
  • Serial number
  • Support group
  • Supported by
  • Vendor
  • Warranty expiration