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Is CYOD the answer to the BYOD headache?

Is CYOD the answer to the BYOD headache?

150 150 Jason Bayton

By 2017 half of employers will require employees to supply their own devices. At least, that’s the prediction Gartner made last year. Whether or not that will truly be the case will become apparent in the years to come, but with the rapid rise of enterprise mobility and demand for the corporate world to keep up with the consumer technology sector, corporate mobility strategies will certainly need to evolve.

Still, even with an estimated fifty percent of employers opting for some form of BYOD, what option could be suitable for the remaining half who don’t consider BYOD to be a good fit for their organization, but want to remain at the forefront of technological advancements while striking a balance between employee satisfaction and security?

CYOD.

Choose Your Own Device provides a corporate spin on BYOD, offering some of the employee benefits associated with a personally owned device but over-all providing greater control, security and arguably fewer headaches for employers.

Like BYOD, employees are free to select their favoured device from a range of options. Unlike BYOD though, that range is pre-selected and supplied by their employer based on compatibility, cost and ease of management in a corporate environment.

This typically smaller selection of devices is maintained and managed by the business, meaning employers decide what employees can and cannot do with their mobile devices; there are no grey areas or blurred lines as can be the case when managing corporate content on a BYO device.

The perceived support burden is also lower as there’s no need to support a non-exhaustive combination of hardware and software, potentially offsetting the cost of maintaining a fleet of devices. With the level of control a corporation has over a CYO device, they should be more secure, easier to manage and less likely to be filled with personal information. That’s not to say they won’t be; rightly or wrongly personal information tends to end up everywhere, but ensuring personal information is saved when a corporate device is wiped for whatever legitimate reason is not the responsibility of the employer.

How is CYOD different to the traditional corporate model?

Obviously employers have been providing corporate devices for many, many years. In the majority of cases an employer may have a stock of one particular supported device, or a limited range distributed between various levels of authority in the business. In the case of BlackBerry, there’s likely a decent amount of supporting infrastructure to maintain, too.

The thing is, these devices are rarely replaced. The typical lifecycles associated with IT equipment regularly apply to mobile device stock and as such employers maintain a range of years-old devices, which are only replaced when they break (providing they can’t be repaired).

CYOD changes all of this.

Device lifecycles are adjusted to coincide with the consumer technology sector (although likely somewhat slower due to testing and such – it’s far faster than traditional environments), the range is larger and more diverse so as to cater for the various tastes of employees and in some cases the infrastructure costs can be reduced, too.

CYOD isn’t a new concept; it has been around just as long as – if not longer – than BYOD, but hasn’t had the same level of coverage as its more controversial counterpart. Interestingly, IDC Asia already believes the shift towards CYOD will be in full-swing this year (Prediction 1) and BYOD is dead in the water.

When you consider “59 percent of survey respondents who regularly use their private devices for work have not yet signed a formal agreement with their employer” (Gartner, May 2014), it’s understandable employers may be looking for solutions that combine the freedom of BYOD with the security of a model such as CYOD.

Summarising the differences between BYOD and CYOD:

BYOD:

  • Lower hardware cost for business
  • Greater freedom of choice for employees
  • Higher employee satisfaction
  • Empowers a “one device to rule all” situation often favoured by employees
  • Personal data may be wiped (accidentally or otherwise)
  • Employees may attempt to circumvent security measures
  • Headache for IT when device is lost, damaged or stolen
  • Data leakage more likely
  • Policies, administrative headaches

CYOD:

  • Control over devices used in the business
  • Lower support burden
  • Higher perceived, accepted security measures
  • Devices can be managed however employers see fit
  • Fewer compatibility issues with corporate solutions
  • Higher upfront and on-going cost
  • IT responsible for lifecycles, keeping up with technology
  • Users want one device for all purposes, may see personal use