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BYOD or CYOD – How to COPE with the Dilemma

Andrei Geralt

Apr 2, 2021

8 min read

The offices we see today are definitely not how they looked like a few decades ago. From closed cabins to open rooms, break rooms, pantries and so on, employee convenience has come a long way. Another interesting practice born out of employee convenience would be Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). With the BYOD Market projected to run past the 350-billion-dollar mark by 2022, calling BYOD a trend would be an understatement. But does every enterprise need to adopt BYOD? Sure, it’s popular, but does that mean it’s necessary?

BYOD sounds like an absolute dream, employees getting to bring their own devices to work and enterprises not needing to buy devices for their workers. But like most dreams, this one isn’t exactly that realistic. Can you justify choosing BYOD over alternatives like COPE (Company Owned Personal Enabled) and CYOD (Choose Your Own Device)? COPE, BYOD or CYOD, which one would be more suited for your enterprise? Well, honestly, only you’d know, but reading on might help you decide.

BYOD, BYOD and BYOD

It is estimated that corporates gain at least 240 extra work hours from their employees every year due to remote working. Since you are also bringing your device to complete your work, your company has to compensate you. This is done by offering stipends, reimbursements or allowances. Sometimes you’d be using your personal device to complete the entirety of your task, while in some cases, you’d just be using your device to check your work mail. Depending on your use, the company can adopt any of the following BYOD policies.

BYOD with SRP
BYOD with partial SRP
BYOD with no SRP

Getting your device BYOD-Approved

BYOD device approval timeline
BYOD device approval timeline

Suppose you believe you are eligible for a BYOD policy in your company. What do you do? Usually, the approval involves these basic stages.

1. Application

Like all applications, this one involves filling a form that could either be on a website or paper.

2. Approval and Training

After applying, the manager would approve or reject it based on the guidelines and criteria for eligibility set by HR. If the application is approved, the employee undergoes some training organized by the IT and HR departments.

3. Policies and Agreements

The employee would go through the policies and agreements drafted by the HR department. The IT and HR department collectively oversees the maintenance of the documents after the employee signs them.

4. Access Granted

Now that everything is approved, the IT department would provide the system access to the employee’s BYOD device. Any queries regarding the device are dealt with peer support groups or by referring to the self-help documents.

BYOD hyped? A little bit.

Everyone has good things to say about BYOD. Some people can’t stop saying how amazing it is. But does it live up to this hype? We can all agree that BYOD is a truly revolutionary practice. Many enterprises gain from adopting it, but not every enterprise.

Cost-effectiveness and employee convenience are the two emphasized features of BYOD.

Costly or Costly-Not?

‘By adopting the BYOD policy, the organization does not need to provide the employees with a device significantly reducing costs’ need not always be accurate. Let me tell you why.

  • On implementing BYOD, considerable capital is invested in device management, security and support.
  • In some countries, The organization has to pay compensation to the employee for bringing their personal device.
  • Value-Added-Tax (VAT) is deductible for the company; the stipend is also taxable for both the company and the employee. If the gross stipend is increased to compensate for these losses, the amount might become very high.

The policies in a country greatly influence whether BYOD would cut down exorbitant expenses. So, it’s best to research whether BYOD is a profitable practice in your country before going with the flow and adopting BYOD. You know what they say, only dead fish go with the flow.

BYOD device in the office

Convenience and Surveillance

You know that feeling you get, that something is off when something super convenient happens to you? BYOD is convenient, but enterprises won’t allow unmanaged devices to connect to their network. Without managing devices, the chances of a data breach increase significantly. But all this device monitoring, data privacy rules, and other adhering to other company policies make BYOD a less attractive option.

Organizations with a lot of employees scattered around the world would also have a hard time adopting a BYOD policy. This is because the policies and rules in various countries have to be considered while drafting the BYOD framework. A task like that would be a real headache for the local HR, legal and tax advisors.

Making Up for What is Lost

With BYOD bringing in a pool of devices to the workplace, the IT admins can be pretty helpless when it comes to troubleshooting them. You can’t exactly expect them to be well versed with every device out there. By setting up self-help desks and peer support teams, the workforce can keep up the pace without slowing down every time they run into problems with their device.

We can also improve the BYOD policy by investing in some tools, services and content.

  • Unified Endpoint Management: By using a UEM like Hexnode, your device can be managed and secured easily, eliminating most of the drawbacks of BYOD. With its remote monitoring capabilities, remote troubleshooting is possible.
  • Cloud-based software and tools: Adopting these tools allows the team to work collaboratively on a task. They can help each other out without having to interact physically.
  • Self Help portal and Peer Support: Nothing beats helping yourself out or having your colleagues help you out.
  • Company-approved apps: Providing a list of apps approved or mandated by the organization would help the employee set up their device for work.

So, personal or just business?

So, you want a cost-effective, maximum output from your workplace. If BYOD doesn’t cut it, then what does? But first, a little something about COPE and CYOD.

Most of the problems arising due to the implementation of BYOD can be solved by one thing – changing the device owner. CYOD (Choose Your Own Device) is a great option that satisfies most manageability, security, compliance and legal requirements. So, there isn’t much of a difference in functionalities, whether it be BYOD or CYOD. The company offers the user an array of devices for the employee to choose from.

COPE uses company-owned devices, but in no way does it negatively impact a business. Using a COPE device would mean that the device can be used for user personalization, installing apps, and personal content access. The real issue with COPE devices is striking the perfect balance between user rights and IT control. Using a work profile can create a barrier between the personal and corporate data in the device, but this limits the control the IT admin has over the device.

Okay, so the solution isn’t fancy or complicated. Why settle for one policy? By adopting different policies based on the personnel and their nature of work, we can achieve maximum output. Yes, I mean, like using a bit of COPE with BYOD or CYOD. So, imagine you incorporated all these policies in your workplace. The employee who deals with very sensitive data can use the corporate-owned device since they can be configured to provide maximum security. At the same time, personal devices can be used by employees working on public sales and tasks which doesn’t involve sensitive information. This acts as a far more effective strategy than BYOD or CYOD.

Wrapping it up – with a bow

Choosing an Enterprise device program for your company is a vital task with the entire workforce efficiency hinging on your decision. While BYOD seems like a great option, blindly following this program is akin to tailgating an ambulance. It is best to give it a good long thought before committing to any one of the options, whether it be COPE, BYOD or CYOD. It’s imperative to identify suitable programs for the employees based on their tasks and the level of information access they need. This will allow the enterprise to attain equilibrium between COPE, BYOD and CYOD programs. There’s no doubt that BYOD remains on the top of the list, but maybe something else might suit your enterprise even better. It’s like searching for answers on a forums page. Even though there’s a best answer, you’d still read the other answers for something better or maybe just for fun. So, give a thought to all your options and choose what suits your enterprise the best.

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Andrei Geralt

Frolicking on the keys while appreciating the serenity behind the screen.

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