COPE vs CYOD vs BYOD

Business today depends on being mobile and with the increased use of smartphones and tablets it’s getting easier to make a business accessible from anywhere. However, with this technology comes the issue of whether to let your employees provide their own devices, if your company should have control of those choices, or something in between. There are advantages and disadvantage to each choice and so much of it depends on what your business objectives are, the size of your company’s budget, and many other variables. So here is the break down of these three options.

High angle shot of a group of businesspeople using their digital tablets

BYOD

BYOD, known as Bring Your Own Device, is the most common choice among businesses, particular small ones. This choice minimizes the company’s responsibility and pretty much leaves everything up to the employee.

  • Pros:
    • Employees have full responsibility for choosing and paying for the devices they want to use.
    • Device upgrades and support are the employees’ responsibility.
    • Lower hardware and service costs for the organization.
    • More convenient for the employee.
    • Higher user engagement.
    • Higher productivity.
    • Little or no requirements for the company to have a wireless carrier.
    • Fastest option to deploy.
  • Cons:
    • Security is hard to enforce without Mobile Device Management software (MDM), which can create issues for the organization.
    • Lack of security can open the organization up to legal issues and risks.
    • There’s virtually no way to tell how the device is being used.
    • Very hard to make sure devices are securely configured and updated at all times.
    • Can be very hard to handle replacement and repair needs.

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CYOD

CYOD, known as Choose Your Own Device, allows the employee to choose from a list of approved devices that meet the requirements of the organization. These devices are then configured by the organization so that they have the necessary applications on them that not only allow the employee to do their job but also secure the device so that the company’s sensitive information is protected at all times.

  • Pros:
    • Devices are either paid for or owned by the employees or the company will pay a fee to the employee so that they can keep the device should the employee leave.
    • Reduces hardware costs when compared to COPE.
    • Employee is still in charge of their own devices.
    • Support is easier to give because of the similar devices used among employees.
    • Organization decides which devices can be used.
    • More security compared to BYOD.
  • Cons:
    • Some employees might not be happy with the device choices they are given by the company.
    • Employees might have challenges with repairs or replacement of their devices.
    • Organization has responsibility to stay up to date with mobile technology.
    • Slower to deploy than BYOD method.

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COPE

COPE, known as Corporate-Owned, Personally Enabled, is an option that is usually used by larger companies who have heavy compliance and security requirements. Generally these companies are in the healthcare or finance sectors. It’s similar to CYOD but COPE gives the organization more control over how devices are used. Devices are picked and owned by the organization and the employee chooses and pays for the plan they feel is best for them. Usually the employee receives a discount on the plan because they are affiliated with the organization.

  • Pros:
    • Higher cost option than BYOD or CYOD.
    • Organization has control and authority over all devices.
    • Organization owns the devices.
    • Lower security concerns.
    • Repairs and replacements are easier to take care of.
    • Better work/life balance through the use of a single device.
  • Cons:
    • Slowest option to deploy.
    • Employees have less freedoms with their devices and that can keep them from being as productive as you might like them to be.
    • Organization has to keep up to date on technology advances.
    • Monitoring and work policies need to be written and enforced.
    • Less privacy for the employee.

No matter which choice your organization decides is best, in most cases you will want to make use of one of the following options in order help with the management and security of the devices being used.

  • Option 1: Mobile Device Management (MDM) software is a way to create a higher level of security with the devices used in the organization. All devices are registered in the software and kept up to date and secure. Usually this software also has tracking capabilities in the event that the device is lost or stolen it can be wiped of its information. However this option can burden internal IT departments due to the time and energy needed to monitor the software and all the devices on it.
  • Option 2: Managed Mobility Service (MMS) providers take over the burden of enrolling all employees’ devices, keeping devices up to date, and helping employee with any issues they might have. This option reduces the employer’s responsibility for tracking all the devices but it adds some costs as well.

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