BYOD vs CYOD vs COBO vs COPE – Know the Difference

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    Device management has been a top concern for organizations that embrace mobility and undergo digital transformation to ease business processes. When the enterprises break through the conventional practices of sticking to one device, most likely a workstation desktop to a wider mobility landscape, they come across the diverse ownership and management modes for devices (BYOD vs CYOD vs COBO vs COPE) that could be quite overwhelming.

    Making the choice of the right ownership and management modes to support, securing these devices for work, and managing the same needs a holistic approach as well as a trusted MDM implementation

    BYOD vs CYOD vs COBO vs COPE
    BYOD vs CYOD vs COBO vs COPE

    In this article, we break down the basics of device management and ownership modes that enterprise IT needs to be aware of.

    BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)

    BYOD or bring your own device is fairly common device ownership and a management model that is practically present in every enterprise. Whenever an enterprise allows the employees to carry their smartphones and other mobile devices into the corporate network perimeter, they are knowingly or unknowingly supporting BYOD. According to a study¹, 70% of the employees keep their mobile phones within eye contact at the workplace. Employees checking work emails on personal phones is such a common phenomenon that it is often considered normal and the security of the corporate data in such cases is always put at risk.

    BYOD vs CYOD vs COBO vs COPE
    Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

    But the benefits of BYOD are many- employees can use their personal devices, be available for a longer time and enterprises save on the inventory costs. BYOD essentially means to offer business resources on employees’ personal devices with limited access and security protocols without hampering the privacy of the employees. Remote wipe-off when the employee leaves the organization or the device is stolen or lost is a must-have feature when managing BYOD in order to ensure that the corporate data is safely wiped off the device without the need for user intervention.

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    CYOD (Choose Your Own Device)

    With new technologies and hardware + software combinations emerging every day, sticking to a latent, or older technology is considered a hurdle in employee productivity by many enterprises as well as technology experts. A modern workforce also demands the latest tech that they like to use, to fulfill their duties, which is why BYOD is so common.

    BYOD vs CYOD vs COBO vs COPE
    Photo by Oleg Ivanov on Unsplash

    CYOD or choose your own device is a device environment where the enterprises publish a list of devices that are approved for the business work and meet the criteria for the management of the same. This enables the employees to choose their favorite devices for work, like in BYOD but the enterprise can have total control over the usage and security of the devices. These devices are then made available to the employees for the duration of their employment and support is extended at all times during this period. CYOD is most commonly used for knowledge workers. 

    While it may seem interesting to have your employees leverage the latest tech for work, it is not necessarily cost-effective. Device leasing is hence gaining momentum on the enterprise level, making the tech upgrade easy and affordable for enterprises as well as for individuals on a personal level.

    Read More: EMM vs MDM – know the difference

    COBO (Company Owned Business Only)

    COBO stands on the entirely opposite side of the spectrum when compared to BYOD. In BYOD, the employee is the ultimate owner of the device and the enterprise has access to only the work container, and rightly so. In COBO- which is a company-owned, business-only type of device environment, the devices are procured by the company, provisioned, secured, and monitored at all times. These devices are strictly business only- preventing employees from accessing any apps for entertainment or personal use. These devices are locked down to a kiosk mode- single or multi-app depending on the use case.

    BYOD vs CYOD vs COBO vs COPE
    Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash

    Moreover, the COBO environment is the most preferred one for employee mobility since it not only offers the enterprises to have complete control over the devices, the apps and content on them, the data sharing and the networks the devices connect to. The COBO environment allows the employees to keep their work devices separate from their personal devices and the companies can enforce any policies, make changes and track the performance of the device in real-time.

    COBO is most commonly used for frontline workforce use in diverse industries. Although the cost of procuring and managing these devices is borne by the enterprise, it is an effort worth it considering the several productivity benefits that COBO ushers in, not to mention the security and compliance and lowered data costs.

    COPE (Company Owned Personally Enabled)

    COPE is the golden mean between BYOD and COBO and several enterprises choose to opt for the COPE way. COPE implies to Company-owned, personally enabled device environment. COPE enables the enterprises to procure and provision devices that deem fit for the business use case while also offering flexibility to the employees while using the same. In the COPE model of device management, enterprises start off by provisioning the devices with business apps and resources but they are not locked down to just those.

    byod cyod cope cobo
    Photo by Panos Sakalakis on Unsplash

    Employees can use the devices as required- for personal use while being in a secure framework. COPE is BYOD but better since it gives the employees complete liberty without putting the corporate data and device in jeopardy while also providing enterprises the ultimate control over the devices.

    To Summarize – BYOD vs CYOD vs COBO vs COPE

    Choosing the right device environment is critical to ensure the enterprise mobility is a success, the productivity is high and the security is undeterred. The one size fits all model clearly doesn’t work here and enterprises have to incorporate a mix of two or more within the enterprise environment. Irrespective of the device environment, an MDM is imperative.

    Renuka Shahane
    Renuka Shahane
    Renuka Shahane is an avid reader who loves writing about technology. She is an engineering graduate with 10+ years of experience in content creation, content strategy and PR for web-based startups.

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