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Why COPE is the New BYOD

Ring Central Blog


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4 min read


COPE may be replacing BYOD as company security measures tighten. The BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device, allows employees to use their personal smartphones for business. However COPE, or Corporate Owned, Personally Enabled, devices are soon to replace BYOD.

The switch from BYOD to COPE could be costly for companies. But this cost may be much less than a cyber security breach many companies now face in the digital era. Forbes noted that in 2013, hackers siphoned $300 million from a hundred banks in over 30 countries. The added security companies will have over the devices using COPE may certainly be worth it in the long run.

Employees are becoming more dependent on their smartphones as well. They have the ability to stay connected to the office, anywhere and at anytime, which is vital. A 2015 survey by Pew Research Center found that, “54% say that their phone is ‘not always needed,’ while 46% say that it is something they ‘couldn’t live without.’”

Unfortunately, the devices people use to access corporate data are at higher risk for a cyber attack. This reality has caused a stir in BYOD company programs around the world.

Switching to COPE offers the same benefits as BYOD with higher levels of security. However, companies need to balance the essential boost in security while still allowing employees the freedom to stay effective and efficient out of the office.

BYOD Met Workforce Needs, but Cyber Security is Taking Precedent

BYOD was once the latest and greatest. A 2014 study found that 35 percent of devices in the workplace were BYOD. Another survey that year by Tech Pro found that 75 percent of companies allow or will allow BYOD devices.

The boom in BYOD simply met the productivity demands of mobile employees. In fact, IDC forecasts an increase in U.S. mobile employees, “From 96.2 million in 2015 to 105.4 million mobile workers in 2020.” This will account for more than 72 percent of the total workforce.

The concept of a mobile workforce is certainly here to stay, but cyber attacks are changing the corporate playing field. The corporate and personal use of mobile devices is what made BYOD successful for companies, and employees alike.

However, COPE aims at picking up the cyber security slack. Carmi Levy, an independent technology analyst told the Financial Post, “Like a moderating influence on a pendulum that swung too far to one side, COPE adds a layer of management maturity to the mix and shaves the negative edges off of the typical BYOD implementation.”

COPE Picks Up Security Slack and Improves IT Control

Remember the cyber attack on Target? Target spent roughly $148 million to recover from that security breach, according to Forbes. And Gregg Steinhafel, the CEO helming the company at the time resigned. COPE will greatly enhance security and keep companies safe from a Target-like nightmare.

COPE alleviates security concerns BYOD programs have. COPE also allows IT to enhance device protection since the devices are company owned. The benefits of BYOD are still present, but without the increased risk of cyber attack.

An extra-added security measure COPE offers is the ability to remotely wipe a device clean if lost or stolen. This could be a career saver for any unlucky employee that loses a company phone, tablet, or laptop.

Employees can choose their devices, as well as the services and apps they need to stay productive while on the go. One of the downsides to COPE, however, is IT can limit employee choice in hopes of keeping company data safe. And IT can monitor the devices, which many employees feel is an invasion of personal privacy.

However, IT can carve out space on COPE devices for employees to use on a personal level too. It simply depends on company policy and often times the industry that company is in. The COPE program also allows companies to cut even more cost by buying devices in bulk and negotiating provider services.

COPE Replaces Cost and Risk with Used Phones as Powerful Allies

BYOD certainly brought about the growing trend of the mobile workforce. It was seen as a lower cost option for many businesses. But, the tech savings are simply not there anymore. An Aberdeen Group analyst noted that BYOD programs could cost a third more than COPE.

The higher expense can be attributed to the increased cost of security measures and IT support. Dell reported that 50 percent of its BYOD customers had a security breach, according to The Telegraph. A global survey by Check Point, a security company, found that 52 percent of companies spent more than a half million dollars in mobile security issues in 2014.

Companies adopting the COPE program are turning to used smartphones as a source of cutting cost while securing data too. The benefits of purchasing used smartphones certainly outweigh the pricey alternative. And buying used smartphones is not as risky as it may seem.

COPE program users are utilizing phone diagnostic testing and certification companies to ensure phones’ ESNs are clean. And that the software and hardware of used devices are operating at optimal levels. In fact, PhoneCheck, a leading mobile diagnostic testing company estimates that, “The worldwide market for refurbished phones sold to end-users will grow to over 300 million units by 2017.” Leaving room for COPE to grow exponentially.

BYOD was once the standard for employee mobility, but the security risks and the cost that follows a breach are too high. COPE allows companies to take advantage of the same BYOD benefits with more security and IT control. Pairing COPE with used smartphones makes the program even more enticing when it comes to the bottom line.

Originally published Dec 06, 2016, updated Aug 12, 2020

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