3 Alternatives to BYOD

boulevard-of-mobile-dreamsOrganizations across the globe are looking for a way to ensure their employees are using secure devices without implementing a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy. While these policies can be helpful to some organizations, many need alternatives to BYOD for a myriad of reasons.

BYOD ripped through the enterprise years ago, gaining popularity quickly after its launch. According to Syntonic’s report, BYOD Usage in the Enterprise, 81% of companies currently offer or plan to offer a BYOD policy, as there are several benefits including a boost in productivity and cost savings. Additionally, 68% of employees utilizing their own device spend at least 4 hours a week using their phone for work-related purposes outside of the office. Plus, their employer saves about $1,300 a year, according to appstechnews.com. While those are great features to BYOD, there are drawbacks to these types of policies as well; including an increase in security threats.

Syntonic reported that 75% of respondents had concerns regarding BYOD. If you fall into that category, here are some alternatives that may be a fit for your business:

Corporate-owned, personally enabled/COPE

A corporate-owned, personally enabled (COPE) mobile policy may be more suitable for your company than BYOD. This type of policy allows an organization to own their devices, however, a staff member can still use them for personal calls and activity. Employees are given a pre-approved device and operating system, meaning that both will comply with the company’s customized Mobile Device Management (MDM) or Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solution.

A COPE policy also gives a company corporate data ownership, so they are able to manage and get rid of sensitive information if necessary. COPE does cost more than a BYOD policy, but carrier discounts are available for businesses.  And keep in mind that a limited number of devices and operating systems often allows for a reduction in the cost of enterprise mobility support.

Click here for more information on COPE.

Direct-to-carrier stipends

Another option to consider is direct-to-carrier stipends; this gives employees the responsibility of buying their own device and carrier service. This type of policy takes most of the responsibility off of the company, but employees are given a monthly credit. The amount of the credit is based on their role, and normally pays just a portion of the worker’s phone bill.

Companies save a lot of cash with this option, especially considering that they can separate personal and corporate data usage to sidestep certain taxes and fees. However, support from within the company and threat management are extremely difficult to get a handle on, given that an enormous amount of devices and operating systems have access to the company’s network.

Choose your own device

Choose Your Own Device, or CYOD, combines BYOD and COPE. A CYOD policy allows employees to choose from a pre-approved selection of devices and operating systems even though they are footing the bill. This kind of policy means compatibility with an organization’s MDM or EMM solution given that devices have to be pre-approved. This increases security and decreases the amount of worry that comes with a BYOD policy. However, issues can still come up when wiping company data. According to appstechnews.com, while CYOD can eliminate some support issues, personal and business data isn’t separated and that can put an organization at risk.

It turns out that asking yourself some simple questions can take you down the right path, the first question being: What type of enterprise mobility user am I?

  • COPE: If you’re going with COPE devices, MDM should be your first choice of solution. However, MAM may also do the trick.
  • Corporate provisioned: If you use a corporate provisioned device, you’ll again want to pick an MDM solution for top-notch security.
  • BYOD: Are you bringing your own device to work? If so, MAM is often the best fit given that it secures data and apps, not just an individual device.
  • Third-party service provider: If you have a third-party service provider, you most likely already have an MDM tool in place from said provider.

Appstechnews.com reported that most professionals at the event said their business switched from one method to another, often various times, in the past. Whether your business has a solution in place or not, it’s important to figure out which type of user you are and then move on to the purchasing phase when looking to buy a new solution.

Tess Hanna

Tess Hanna is an editor and writer at Solutions Review covering Backup and Disaster Recovery. She has a degree in English and Textual Studies from Syracuse University. You can contact her at thanna@solutionsreview.com

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