By 2020, the International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts that 72% of the U.S. workforce (approximately 105 million employees) will be mobile. Meanwhile, Telsyte’s Australian Enterprise Mobility Market Study (2015) revealed that 84% of organizations need mobile application enablement because they work at remote locations.
These numbers are no surprise considering the affordability of mobile devices and the widespread adoption of the Internet of Things across different industry verticals. Further proving the need to embrace enterprise mobility is a growing body of research and surveys which reports mobility is synonymous with productivity. After all, mobile apps improve communication, streamline operations, and deliver a competitive edge to organizations, among other things.
If your company is yet to implement an enterprise mobility strategy, one of the first aspects you should decide is whether to opt for BYOD, CYOD or COPE. If you only recognize one of these acronyms, read on to learn what the other two are to make the best choice for your organization.
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
The most commonly discussed model, the BYOD model is quite popular with organizations across the world. The Cass BYOD and Mobility Study confirms this. The study reveals 60% of respondents report a 60% increase in the number of BYOD users in their organizations within one year. 85% say they have at least some BYOD users and 36% say their organizations have 1,000 or more users.
Further validation that BYOD is the most widely used approach is its popularity with small businesses, which make up the majority of firms across the world. There are also numerous advantages to it, including:
- Lower hardware and service costs
- Few or no requirements for wireless carrier management
- Higher user engagement
- Quicker deployment time
As tempting as these benefits may be, the model has a few limitations that prevent it from being a good fit for many businesses. The first (and possibly the biggest) challenge is the difficulty of enforcing security. This issue by itself can lead to legal implications since organizations need to comply with data protection obligations. Other disadvantages of BYOD include:
- Inability to control devices without Mobile Device Management
- Problematic replacement of devices
- Complex support definitions (which means more work for organizations to enforce requirements)
- High configuration costs
Due to these disadvantages, BYOD is mostly suitable for organizations that seek affordability AND have a small or no involvement in managing sensitive data.
Choose Your Own Device (CYOD)
Adopted by 65% of North American and European companies, CYOD is the safer alternative to BYOD. This model allows workers to select a company-approved and configured device. The organization also has more control over expenses as it gets to choose to have employees pay and own their devices or offer a renewable payment. The latter ensures that the organization retains the device if its user resigns or gets terminated.
Some of the main advantages which make CYOD a good choice are:
- Lower hardware costs (in comparison with COPE)
- More control to end users over their technology
- Tighter procurement standards
- More streamlined support standards
While CYOD may seem to strike a balance between the needs of employees and organizations, there are some points to keep in mind before selecting this model. For starters, the choices offered may not necessarily appeal to all users. There’s also the issue of struggling with replacements and repairs. Organizations will also have a lot on their plates, covering hardware costs and investing time and effort to remain up-to-date with mobile technology.
So, while CYOD is viewed as the ‘middle of the road’ option among these three, it still has many weaknesses that you should factor in your decision making. If you can, however, minimize the effects of these disadvantages, this model may be useful.
Corporate Owned, Personally Enabled (COPE)
COPE is the newest model of the three and a favorite with larger enterprises. It’s designed to give organizations more control over enterprise mobility while acknowledging consumerization. Employees are provided with devices chosen and paid for by the organization. Though they can use these devices for personal activities, the organization itself sets restrictions on the level of utility on the device.
This modern approach to enterprise mobility offers the benefits of the CYOD model as well as the following advantages:
- Better work/life balance on a single device
- More control and authority over devices
- Fewer security concerns
On the other hand, organizations will need to put more effort into setting and enforcing monitoring policies. They’ll also be fully responsible for keeping up with the latest innovations in the industry. With users’ productivity possibly affected by the added freedom, employers need to set up strict work policies. All of these lead to slow deployment, making enterprise mobility more of a challenge.
After analyzing both the advantages and disadvantages of the COPE model, experts recommend it to financial institutions, members of the healthcare sector, and other organizations which face heavy compliance and security requirements. This is especially true considering the high costs associated with this model.
The Bottom Line
Each of BYOD, CYOD, and COPE offers users many advantages and comes with its own set of limitations. Factor these along with your security needs, budget, and resources to effectively decide which model is best suited for your enterprise mobility strategy.