Mobile technology has drastically changed the way business operates. Increasing number of employees are relying on devices to complete day to day tasks and deliver high-quality services to a solid bottom line. Now, the average workforce uses 2.3 devices for their job, according to Small Business Trends. The point is that these devices allow your workforce to stay connected from anywhere and be productive when not in the office.
As with any new technology, mobile devices come with a set of considerations and concerns over how to manage them effectively. There are currently three most used mobile strategies that companies can leverage, but it will be important to know what each approach entails to determine which one is right for your company.
Bring your own device (BYOD)
Bring your own device is the most popular approach among small and medium businesses. In the BYOD model, employees are granted full responsibility for choosing and purchasing the devices they use, as the smartphones, tablets, and other gadgets are their own. It is very popular among smaller businesses.
The key advantages of BYOD are lower hardware and service costs, higher user convenience, and little to no wireless carrier requirements for the organization. The main disadvantage of this approach is that security is very difficult to enforce and therefore it exposes your organization to more legal implications and risks. This approach also makes it more difficult to manage configurations, replacements, and repairs.
Choose your own device (CYOD)
CYOD is one of the newer approaches we’re seeing. It is when companies give employees an approved set of devices from which to choose. Devices will either be paid for and owned by the employees, or the company will offer a renewable hardware stipend that allows the firm to retain possession following the termination or resignation of various users.
The main advantages of CYOD are that it can reduce hardware costs as compared to COPE. The end users are still in control of their own technology but the support and procurement standards are more streamlined given the more filtered list of device options. The disadvantages include some of your users may be dissatisfied with their options, it does not completely eliminate hardware costs and the end users may struggle to manage repair and replacement. This can be considered the “middle ground” of these options, as it comes with some of the advantages of BYOD and COPE, but also includes weaknesses from both.
Company-owned, personally enabled( COPE)
Larger enterprises are more likely to employ the COPE model, as it maximizes control over mobility in many ways. Employees are given smartphones that are paid for by the company, meaning the business retains ownership of the devices. There is some flexibility involved as well, as enterprises can still offer employees options. It’s a popular choice for financial institutions and healthcare providers due to their regulatory needs for compliance and security.
COPE offers organizations the most control and authority over all mobile devices which results in lower security concerns than BYOD and CYOD. Repairs and replacements are more standardized and easier to execute. However, your uses may have fewer freedoms with their devices which may impact productivity. A COPE approach requires that the business take a very proactive, innovative approach to keeping pace with technology which equals forward thinking and vigilance. It is also the slowest to deploy.
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