With the advent of smart phones and tablets and the rise and popularity of the mobile workforce, BYOD became the buzz word synonymous with a forward thinking, Modern Workplace.
The appeal of having employees so accessible to customers and management, regardless of location, was (and still is) huge. With smart, personal mobile technology always at our fingertips, it has also made that degree of accessibility easy and affordable.
BYOD took the benefits even further, leveraging off of the certainty that their employees would already own personal devices suitable for remote work, allowing companies to save on costs - when comparing the ‘expense’ of allowing employee-provided personal devices versus being confronted with the actual cost of having to buy dozens, even hundreds, of new mobile devices for those same employees.
Flash forward a few short years and companies are now re-evaluating the pros and cons of BYOD. The freedom, efficiency, and cost savings of a BYOD policy could eventually become counterproductive and negatively impact a company.
Fortunately, we have a couple of new options available to us - namely, CYOD (choose your own device) and COPE (Corporate Owned Personally Enabled) in addition to BYOD
So, what’s the difference? To provide a clear picture, let’s break it down.
Pros: BYOD programs allow employees to use any device at work. This might prove optimal for some companies as it reduces the cost and responsibility placed on the business surrounding procurement, device upgrades and overall support.
Cons: Security breaches can become a reality with something as simple as a misplaced phone or tablet; or when an employee shares a BYOD device with someone outside of work. Another risk: a back channel into your company may become exploited when an employee device connects to an unsecured third-party Wi-Fi connection, resulting in access to sensitive company documents, information, and programs
Pros: Companies offer their employees a suite of pre-approved devices that will meet the needs of the employee and the company. A CYOD option is a very culture-centric approach to the mobile environment of the business. Devices can be pre-configured with all the necessary applications for employee productivity and protecting sensitive data that might be present on or accessed by a mobile device.
Cons: Businesses that choose the CYOD approach are responsible for all invoice management and device selection. This still creates a huge need for, at the very least, Mobile Device Management. MDM software can be preloaded, phones can be preconfigured and procurement processes can be outlined; however, the ownership of all these areas can still be big job to tackle.
Pros: COPE programs allow employees to choose the device and their plan, while receiving a potential discount on the device or plan due to the company optimizing benefits with various carriers. The company essentially owns the device, but the end user has control over the plan and payments and generally get to use the device for personal use as well – of course, because the company owns the device, the company can decide how much choice and freedom employees get whilst using the phone.
Cons: The company is still liable for the expense of purchasing the phone and maintaining the software. While security and compatibility are no issue if devices are all chosen by IT, the fact that IT has visibility into and ownership of employee’s “personally-enabled” devices can raise some concerns about privacy.
So, then, which is the right program to choose? The answer is that there is no one perfect answer. A majority of clients will find themselves needing a combination of the three to most efficiently manage their mobile environments. Cost, security needs and work functionalities can vary drastically based on the end user’s role within a company, and mobility is not a one-size-fits-all environment.
If you would like to discuss your UC Strategy, we are happy to help. Contact us or browse our online store for more information on options available to you.