The bring-your-own-device revolution has transformed the way businesses manage mobile device technology. BYOD has created a culture of happier, more productive employees and helped businesses cut the costs of leveraging mobile technology, but the revolution has not been without consequences.
A recent Gartner report suggests that by 2017, more than half of employers will implement BYOD policies that require employees to provide their own mobile devices. These lucky employees will have control over what kind of devices they want to use, as well as how new—and expensive—their device will be. On the employer side, businesses that opt for BYOD won’t have to invest funds in purchasing devices for their employees, and they won’t be offering outdated devices that are several years and several versions behind the newest options.
Unfortunately, BYOD can be a Pandora’s Box for a company’s IT department. Without proper management tools in place, the cost of handling a wide array of personal devices can crush the potential savings BYOD policies generate. Combine the challenges of managing diverse devices and operating systems with concerns about corporate information security, backup and recovery issues, and compliance problems, and BYOD can become a bit of challenge.
Enter the COPE, or corporate owned, personally enabled, strategy. With COPE devices, companies purchase and supply mobile devices to their employees, but they do so with the understanding that employees will be able to use the device for personal use as well. The device is still owned by the company, and should the employee move on to employment elsewhere, the company can be sure the information on the device doesn’t leave, too.
The ability to maintain ownership of the device can be a huge benefit for companies that have a robust sales presence—unlike BYOD, COPE ensures all of the data and contact information on the device stays with the company in the event of employee departure. And if a device is lost or stolen, COPE makes it easy for IT departments to wipe the device clean and provide a new one in a short amount of time.
Both COPE and BOYD strategies can have their benefits, however. If you’re exploring the best ways to manage mobile devices for your company, take a look at our post on the best practices for developing your mobile device management policy, or contact us to learn more about how we can help you meet compliance and handle security with our mobile device management tools.