Taming mobile device expenses in the workplace has been an ongoing challenge for many organizations. They can’t be ignored, not only because everyone has them now, but because integrating them into your employees’ workflows delivers proven benefits to their productivity.

The old-school model of providing a device that can only be used for company business is both inefficient and unpopular with employees, who often end up carrying a second phone or tablet for personal use. In response, two different models have emerged to bridge the gap.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

The BYOD model allows workers to access corporate data with the device of their choice. While this approach is very popular with employees, it can be difficult to support and presents a risk to your company’s security.

When BYOD first came on the scene a few years ago, it seemed attractive as a cost-cutting measure. The theory went that by shifting the cost of the device to the end user, organizations could eliminate one of their major expenses.

In reality, the associated MDM, management costs and stipends for users’ phone bills—not to mention keeping up with a flood of devices with an average lifespan of 9–12 months—have proven to be much higher. That hasn’t stopped some big organizations from sticking with the BYOD model, but fewer and fewer companies are still claiming cost savings as an advantage.

Liability issues are also a growing factor. Some countries, for example, prohibit the remote wiping of data—even proprietary corporate data—on a device your company doesn’t own.

All of these issues are contributing to the growth of a second model that we consider far superior to BYOD:

Corporate Owned, Personally Enabled (COPE)

COPE is a hybrid approach that combines some of the flexibility of BYOD, while retaining the advantages of corporate ownership. In this model, the devices are chosen by the employee but the management and carrier costs are the responsibility of the company.

Corporate ownership allows you to negotiate bulk discounts for some devices and utilize the entire buying power of the company when it comes to usage cost. Don’t get me wrong, there are still challenges with COPE but in the end it makes it easier for your IT people to manage devices and overall costs. It also puts you back in control of any liability, security and device compliance issues.

Both models require corporate and personal information to be isolated from one another on the device. This protects both parties by keeping corporate data secure from unauthorized access and preserving the privacy of the end user’s personal information. Again, COPE has the upper hand. In the BYOD model, the company “sandbox” has to be carved out of the device owner’s available space, whereas the COPE model ensures that every device meets your organization’s minimum requirements.

Not sure which model is right for you? Call McCraken today (change link to new website area) for a no-risk evaluation. We’ll help you determine if switching to a COPE model could help your organization not only cut costs and improve efficiency, or if a partnership with us could help remove the burden from your team.