Last updated on 5. February 2021
The work and IT world are currently subject to a massive transformation. The boundary between work and private life blurs increasingly. Employers are therefore facing the challenge to proactively manage this transformation and to utilise the resulting advantages for themselves. For many employees, smart phones and tablets are indispensable in their private life. This requirement also transfers to IT equipment at work. Organisations should therefore adapt their IT equipment according to staff requirements, rather than allowing a shadow IT to be established within the organisation by unauthorised use of private tablets. In the past few years, various concepts such as BYOD, CYOD and COPE have prevailed, which face these challenges and meet the demands of employees.
BYOD, CYOD and COPE explained
BYOD is the abbreviation for) Bring-Your-Own-Device. This is an IT procurement directive, whereby employees bring their own devices to work, for example private laptops, tablets or smartphones, and use them for work purposes. This process is particularly popular with smaller and start-up companies as this allows to reduce equipment procurements costs. This also offers more flexibility and mobility to the employee during the working day, resulting in increased employee satisfaction. However, BYOD also has some disadvantages. As every employee uses their own private device within the enterprise network, it makes the IT administration much more complex than a conventional homogenous IT environment. Due to their hardware and software specific characteristics, every device has to be integrated into the enterprise network. This results in increased administration and creates particular challenges for the security policy of the organisation.
CYOD or Choose-Your-Own-Device is a procurement policy, whereby employees can select their device themselves. Unlike BYOD this is generally about devices, which are only used for work, such as a laptop or tablet. Private use is normally not intended. In comparison to Bring-your-own-Device, CYOD is more expensive, as the devices have to be purchased and managed for each employee individually. However, this creates less problems with security and employees get a device, which allows them to work efficiently.
The least widespread is the system with the acronym COPE. It means: Corporate-Owned, Personally Enabled. This is a kind of counterpart to the BYOD principle. While with BYOD the device belongs to the employee and is used at work, with COPE it is the other way around. The device belongs to the organisation and the employee can – often to a limited extent – also use it privately. Each employee receives a pre-configured device from the organisation, which has all important settings and programmes required for every day work. A prerequisite for the COPE model is that users have the relevant IT knowledge as they need to personalise and administer the devices themselves. With a COPE strategy, users do not receive basic support from their employer and often have to be able to solve problems themselves. Many employers simply provide a Wiki or a specific forum for employees, which will provide help with common problems. Through such an approach, administrative costs reduce for organisations. In return, employees have the opportunity to also use their devices privately. In addition to the pre-installed software, they can also upload own content.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Each of these forms have their individual advantages and disadvantages, which need to be assessed dependent on the company. However, in general it can be noted, that the systems BYOD, CYOD and COPE are very future oriented and meet the challenges of modern work life. With every option it is necessary for the company to define clear guidelines and codes of conduct, which the employee may and should act on. This is the only way to guarantee the security of company data. When an organisation has recognised and established the ideal principle for itself, costs can be saved and employee satisfaction will demonstrably increase.
Irrespective of the chosen device procurement form, the management and administration will always play an important role. Cloud services and As-a-Service service providers offer an excellent opportunity to keep administrative costs as low as possible. oneclick™, for example, can be used with BYOD devices as well as with COPE and CYOD. In particular with Bring-your-own-Device systems, products such as oneclick™ can contribute to significantly reduce the security risk, which arises due to private use. In addition, no data, which is subject to data protection laws is stored on the device, which means that directives and compliance regulations are all fulfilled.
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- Image 3: © Vadim Sherbakov | unsplash.com