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CYOD: A New Way to Embrace Mobile Devices

From the experts | Posted on September 5, 2013 by Angela Cope

The proliferation of personal mobile devices is changing the way we do business — and companies are either embracing it, or sticking with the status quo. But there is another option that’s gaining momentum.

On one end of the spectrum is COPE (company-issued, personally-enabled), where the organization chooses which devices employees use, and the company owns and pays for the device.

On the other end of the spectrum is BYOD (bring-your-own-device), where employees are allowed to use their personal mobile device for work, but they pay for it and typically support it themselves.

The company benefits from BYO by not having to purchase the devices. But, because IT no longer has control over which devices are being used on the network, corporate security measures are difficult to enforce. There are also issues around data ownership, data integrity and the management of alien devices in the corporate environment.

A third option strikes the balance between COPE and BYOD, and it’s gaining in popularity.

It’s called CYOD (choose-your-own-device). CYOD offers an alternative to companies that want to provide choice to employees while still maintaining some control over their IT environment.

With CYOD, employees are offered a choice of devices that meet the company’s standards for security, reliability and durability. IT is able to manage the deployment of multiple devices with the right configurations and keep the IT environment secure.

What makes CYO different from COPE is that the company can either pay for the devices or provide employees with a stipend to buy their own device from a list of approved options. And, depending on the needs of the company, employees can either keep the device or return it when they leave the company. Ultimately, it offers more flexibility than COPE.

For companies looking to balance the demands of IT with the needs of employees, CYO offers an attractive middle ground between COPE and BYO. We’ve looked at a variety of common factors organizations need  to think about when outlining a device model, and have determined the following differentiators between COPE, CYO and CYO.

COPE,CYO,BYO Matrix
Employees aren’t shoehorned into using one device — they feel they have input into the process and, unlike BYO, they can continue to receive some support from the IT department. The company is still responsible for security, standards, device replacement and device compatibility. Administration, maintenance and management responsibilities can be shared between the company and the employees.

Still unsure? We’re going through this so you don’t have to

We’re walking the talk by rolling out a CYO pilot program across our organization. We’re looking to see how much flexibility CYO provides in terms of control, governance, mitigating risk and managing resources — all while giving employees a seat at the table when it comes to the technology they use at work.

Over the next couple of months, we’ll see how well our theories work in practice. We believe CYO will improve job satisfaction, and perhaps even change the way we work with partners and clients. We’ll also find out how the results compare and contrast with our current BYO program.

Our best resource for feedback is our own employees — so we selected some of the most vocal and opinionated people in our organization to share their experiences with the CYO pilot. This will help us to identify best practices and things to avoid in order to help you, the customer, make more informed strategic business decisions.

Additional Resources

If you have any questions about CYO, feel free to comment below. You can also discover what our CYO participants are talking about on Twitter by following the hashtag #SCYO

Consulting – The Secret Ingredient to CYOD Success

Putting CYOD To the Ultimate Test – 8,000 Miles Away

4 Steps to Choosing the Right Devices for CYOD

How Choosing My Own Device Changed the Way I Work (and Play)

Why CYOD Didn’t Work for Me (And What You Should Do Differently)

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