BYOD and CYOD and COPE - oh my!

We’ve blogged before about how remote and flexible working benefits both employers and their staff, but a report by the BBC yesterday morning seems to confirm that the number of people working from home is on the rise.

23 February 2017

While the advantages to both parties are numerous – for example, businesses can find that their employees become more productive due to the trust placed in them whilst their staff have a chance to balance their home life with their career - what are the methods that enable this shift in attitude?

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), Choose Your Own Device (CYOD) and Corporate Owned, Personally Enabled (COPE) are all means of allocating PCs, laptops, mobile phones and tablets to employees who are working remotely. While the basic principle of empowering your mobile workforce is the same for all three, there are subtle differences which may sway your decision of which method to deploy.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

The first model to appear was BYOD, capitalising on the fact that a large percentage of people already bring their own mobile devices into the office. Still the most common method due to its low cost to businesses, in our experience staff tend to be quite amenable to the suggestion; indeed, many GCI staff choose to sync their work emails to their own mobile phones, simply so they can respond quickly when they need to. However, the main challenge is privacy for both the employer and employee. Without the appropriate software or device management system in place, businesses may not be able to guarantee that any confidential company data is secure on the employee’s device. In turn, the staff member might find the presence of their employer’s apps on their phone intrusive.

Corporate Owned, Personally Enabled (COPE)

For greater control over a device’s security, some organisations select the COPE method. This lets employees choose a company-owned device from a pre-approved list, whilst giving them the flexibility to use their own apps for leisure as well as using it for business. Think of this as the telecommunications equivalent of being given your choice of company car (and like a car, you can usually have any colour as long as it’s black!) Employers can find that offering a choice of devices to meet the different preferences of their workforce will empower them; on the other hand, the capital expenditure for businesses can be high - particularly in the ever-changing mobile device industry where a product’s lifespan can be limited or software become outdated very quickly. Staff could also be uncomfortable with the ability for their IT department to access any of their private information stored on the device, though of course this concern can be alleviated by limiting the amount of personal activities they use the equipment for.

Choose Your Own Device (CYOD)

Finally, CYOD is tipped as a compromise between BYOD and COPE, allowing users to pick their own choice of device from a company-owned shortlist to use for business alone. While this sounds very much like the COPE model, staff are limited to using the device for work purposes only. Though having different phones for work and pleasure can be mildly irritating, the employee need not worry about their private information being accessible by the business they work for. Their employer can also maintain control over which software and apps are installed on the equipment, protecting sensitive company data. However, it may be tricky for an organisation to ensure “business use only” compliance.

The choice between models really does differ depending on a business’ size and requirements. However, it cannot be denied that to enable mobile working to be effective, employers need to ensure that the correct software is in place to keep information secure and for the efficient management of equipment. As Strategic Business Partners, GCI provides a number of Citrix software products to bring your mobile device management together, offer desktop virtualisation and provide security for your mobile workforce. No matter whether you choose BYOD, CYOD, COPE or even a combination, with over two decades of IT expertise GCI can offer advocacy on how to deploy and manage your devices and software to ensure that your workforce is kept flexible, successful and inspired.

To discuss which solution could work for your organisation, or to find out more about Citrix’s software offerings from GCI, please contact enquiries@gcicom.net.

 

Anthony Green

Enterprise Sales Director

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