Around this time last year, Gartner predicted that by 2017, half of employers would require employees to supply their own device for work purposes. While a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) strategy is still touted by some as “the” answer to appeasing a demanding mobile workforce and to reducing IT costs, the movement is showing signs of fatigue.
For many organizations, BYOD has created a new set of problems – increased support costs, employee collaboration issues, liability concerns, and security problems, to name a few. And employees aren’t so thrilled either when they realize that the personal data sitting on their devices is exposed to their employer.
A number of organizations are turning to a different strategy, COPE (Corporate Owned, Personally Enabled) or CYOD (Choose Your Own Device), to support their mobile workforce in a more controlled way. The benefits of this strategy over BYOD appear to truly be a win-win for both employer and employee:
- Cost savings: By offering a limited number of device options to their employees and negotiating bulk purchase discounts, organizations that would otherwise subsidize employee-purchased devices and wireless plans can save big. And by standardizing to only a few supported devices, IT can keep support costs at bay.
- Personalized user experience: With a COPE strategy, employees are usually allowed to use personal apps and to store personal data on their device alongside work content – a major draw for users without the downside of BYOD for IT.
- Realistic user expectations: Since employee devices are owned by the employer, there is no expectation of privacy and full control. This tends to drive more responsible behavior when it comes to device usage and app downloads.
- Increased security: Last but not least, organizations are able to reliably secure corporate information through MDM (Mobile Device Management) and MAM (Mobile Application Management) software when they own the devices. In some countries where it’s illegal to wipe data from devices not owned by the employer, BYOD is simply too risky to be a viable mobility option.
A recent article published by ComputerWorld highlights the experience of Rosendin Electric, a COPE-driven organization with thousands of employees, hundreds of smartphones, over 400 iPads and some Surface tablets. “We would probably never have a BYOD environment here,” states Sam Lamonica, Rosendin’s CEO. Lamonica argues that with company-owned devices, he can better manage and secure them without having to worry about employees’ privacy expectations. The company does, however, allow workers to use lifestyle apps and store personal photos on their company-owned tablets.
Another interesting example combines both BYOD and COPE strategies into a hybrid approach. One of Colligo’s enterprise customers, an oil & gas multinational, owns and manages thousands of iOS devices for its field workers and also supports BYOD but only for email.
Whether corporate ownership of devices makes a comeback in the form of COPE or CYOD remains to be seen. What is clear is that organizations are still navigating the many facets of supporting a mobile workforce.
Want to learn more about supporting your mobile workforce? Check out Colligo’s secure mobility solutions for SharePoint.
Source: ComputerWorld, July 2014