How to handle and manage mobile devices in-this-day-and-age is a question that all companies are asking themselves OR should be asking themselves whether you are a small, medium or large organization. In this blog, I will be covering the Options Available for Device Management.
In my post, I will discuss the mobile device options companies have including:
- Corporate Owned, Business Only (COBO)
- Corporate Owned, Personally Enabled (COPE)
- Choose Your Own Device (CYOD)
- Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
Let’s start with the dinosaur of the lot, COBO. COBO is on its way to extinction. So, what is COBO? COBO is where your mobile device is owned by your employer and personal use is prohibited. COBO provides restrictive control over your employer owned devices to protect against theft, data leaks, while providing security with usage limitations.
Large corporations felt, and a few still do, that COBO offers the ultimate in security and control for a breach free life. Yes, some large corporations still have COBO as their policy but as the years have passed there have been significant measures taken to secure data and personal information. You can only imagine the “joy” employees have (or had) with carrying two mobile devices around with them – yes, they are compact ─ but the idea, nonetheless, is not practical or in most cases necessary.
COPE programs offered by companies provide mobile devices to employees primarily for work but allow them basic use including voice calls, messaging and personal applications. Of course, they’re advantages and disadvantages.
Since companies know that their workers will be using their devices for personal use, the IT department secures data while managing what features need to be managed. As you will see COPE is easier to support than BYOD, since, IT can streamline device enrollment and application deployment while BYOD must support devices as employees bring them in. By implementing a detailed mobile policy and usage plan, employers can set the parameters to control the usage and flexibility of their employee’s mobile devices. Downsides to this mobile policy is that the lines of business and personal usage may not be defined as clearly as needed; some employees may feel stifled and micro-managed.
CYOD allows your workers to choose from several approved devices provided by their employer. Usually, the company provides the phones to the employees and will keep them once the employee leaves the company. Let’s start with the benefits.
The company chooses the devices they want to offer and manages their worker’s phone. This can mean limiting personal use to what apps are available to them and information. Some of the drawbacks is the cost of buying mobile devices and maintaining them. Additionally, your workers may not like the choice offerings of phones available, which may in turn effect their productivity.
More and more companies are leaning towards BYOD. BYOD allows employees to use their personal devices for work purposes.
As demonstrated above, there are benefits and drawbacks to all mobile device options. Let’s once again begin with the benefits. Employees who use their own phones are familiar with their device, which increases their productivity. It offers them more flexibility with the freedom to work both in and out of the office. BYOD is more cost efficient in the long run. While companies who adopt BYOD may need to spend money upfront to implement mobility policies and guidelines, in the long run they will save money. Another point worth mentioning are some companies do provide a monthly stipend for employee personal devices while others do not.
With every benefit comes a few drawbacks. Security is at the forefront. This touches on many facets such as access control, data moving in-and-out of the company more easily and policy enforcement. Other risks include: lost devices, personal usage, multiple device types and operating systems, portal usage, applications and social media access.
COBO, COPE, CYOD and BYOD all offer the ability to support your company’s mobile efforts, but the differences and the choices always comes down to what your company feels matches your needs.
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