ServiceNow: User Access Management


This guide provides key steps and best practices for effective user access management in ServiceNow, emphasizing secure role assignment and regular access reviews.

In ServiceNow, effective User Access Management is critical to ensure that only authorized users have access to specific resources and operations. It's a crucial aspect of maintaining a secure instance. This guide outlines the key steps and best practices to manage user access in ServiceNow effectively.

1. Understanding Users and Roles

ServiceNow defines access through the combination of users and roles. A user is an individual account in the system, while a role is a collection of permissions or access rights. Assigning roles to users determines what they can see and do within the system.

2. User Creation

To create a user, navigate to the "User Administration" application in ServiceNow and select "Users." Here, you can define new users by providing essential details such as user ID, name, and password.

3. Role Creation

Roles in ServiceNow are designed to provide permissions for specific tasks. To create a new role, go to "User Administration" > "Roles." You can assign a name and description for the role, then assign it to the necessary application or module.

4. Assigning Roles to Users

You can assign roles to users in the "Users" section under "User Administration." Select a user, then add roles in the "Roles" related list. The principle of least privilege should guide this process - assign only the roles necessary for the user's job function.

5. Managing Groups

Groups in ServiceNow can simplify user and role management by grouping users together who need similar access. You can create groups in the "Groups" section under "User Administration" and then assign roles to these groups. Adding a user to a group gives them all the roles associated with that group.

6. Contextual Security

ServiceNow's contextual security features allow for fine-grained control over access rights. They include Access Control Lists (ACLs), which provide record-level access control, and business rules, which can be used to dynamically control access based on specific conditions.

7. Managing Delegated Development

ServiceNow's Delegated Development feature allows system administrators to delegate the development and management of specific applications to users without giving them full administrative rights. Administrators can specify what application files a delegated developer can access and what actions they can perform.

8. Periodic Review of Access Rights

Regularly review user roles and access rights to ensure they're still appropriate. This is especially important when users change roles within the organization or when they leave.


User Access Management is a critical component of securing a ServiceNow instance. By understanding how users, roles, and permissions work together, and following the steps outlined in this guide, you can effectively manage user access in your ServiceNow environment.