By Andrew Taylor
The need to have a firm enterprise mobility strategy is never more critical than now. The number of mobile workers was estimated at 1.4 billion 2015 and IDC estimates that by 2020, 72.3% of the workforce will be mobile. This means that all organizations must address their policies and make sure their approach is the right one – meaning that it aligns with your industry needs, organizational policies, culture, budget, IT and staff resources, etc. There is much to consider.
Currently, we see three most popular options:
There is no one-size-fits-all solution here and certainly, each of these have pros and cons. Here are a few of the high-level comparisons of these three approaches:
Bring your own device is the most popular approach across our customer base. In the BYOD model, employees are granted full responsibility for choosing and purchasing the devices they use, as the smartphones, tablets, and other gadgets are their own. It is very popular among smaller businesses.
The key advantages of BYOD are lower hardware and service costs, higher user convenience, and little to no wireless carrier requirements for the organization. The main disadvantage of this approach is that security is very difficult to enforce and therefore it exposes your organization to more legal implications and risks. This approach also makes it more difficult to manage configurations, replacements and repairs.
CYOD is one of the newer approaches we’re seeing. It is when companies give employees an approved set of devices from which to choose. Devices will either be paid for and owned by the employees, or the company will offer a renewable hardware stipend that allows the firm to retain possession following the termination or resignation of various users.
The main advantages of CYOD are that it can reduce hardware costs as compared to COPE. The end users are still in control of their own technology but the support and procurement standards are more streamlined given the more homogenous pool of device options. The disadvantages include some of your users may be dissatisfied with their options, it does not completely eliminate hardware costs and the end users may struggle to manage repair and replacement. This can be considered the “middle of the road” of these options, as it comes with some of the advantages of BYOD and COPE, but also includes weaknesses from both.
Larger enterprises are more likely to employ the COPE model, as it maximizes control over mobility in many ways. Employees are given smartphones that are paid for by the company, meaning the business retains ownership of the devices. There is some flexibility involved as well, as enterprises can still offer employees options. It’s a popular choice for financial institutions and health care providers due to their regulatory needs for compliance and security.
COPE offers organizations the most control and authority over all mobile devices which results in lower security concerns than BYOD and CYOD. Repairs and replacements are more standardized and easier to execute. However, your uses may have less freedoms with their devices which may impact productivity. A COPE approach requires that the business take a very proactive, innovative approach for keeping pace with technology which equals forward thinking and vigilance. It is also the slowest to deploy.
Making the right choice and putting it into action is facilitated by working with a Managed Mobility Services (MMS) provider. These organizations will help ensure you do it right the first time to meet your specific needs.
For more on this topic, we’ve prepared a white paper, BYOD vs. CYOD vs. COPE – How to Choose the Right Approach for Your Enterprise.