June 19, 2013
Enola Labs

Enola Labs creates custom strategy and products for mobile and web.

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Since the emergence of many mobile devices and applications the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) model has grown in popularity for many business across the globe. The added convenience, portability, and increased productivity that stems from BYOD makes it an attractive model for any business to use. However, BYOD is by no means a simple model to adapt. So is there another alternative to BYOD that still provides you with the same benefits?

What is COPE?

COPE, which stands for corporate owned, personally enabled, is an acronym coined by Philippe Winthrop, VP of Corporate Strategy at VeliQ. It is a new IT business strategy through which an organization buys and provides computing resources and devices to be used and managed by employees. This business model brings the benefits of BYOD and mixes it with the added convenience of a corporate liability model.

How Does COPE Work?

In the past when you were provided a device, usually a desktop, laptop or a mobile phone by your employer, they monitored your use. You were told to strictly use it for business purposes and were closely monitored to ensure your compliance. Usually the devices were old and outdated or in a different operating system than what you are used to. Thus, the BYOD model was enacted to allow employees the freedom to bring and work on their own personal devices allowing them that extra freedom and convenience. This added convenience has led to increased productivity because employees could now access critical information via web and mobile applications remotely on their personal devices. Also they still have access to all of their personal applications and activities such as social sites, email, and calendars.

With COPE businesses provide employees with their choice of IT devices and gadgets, but the company maintains ownership of such devices and can monitor and control their activity at a much smaller degree. It provides the convenience of a personal mobile device and adds a degree of benefit for an employees work/life balance inside an organization. Employees are encouraged to utilize the devices as their own and personalize it with their favorite applications.

Benefits of COPE

To begin, one of the biggest benefits of what COPE offers is the cost benefits. Under BYOD employees buy and expense the devices and services they need while the employer may reimburse all or a portion of the cost. This however can leave the employer with less money in their pocket while also leaving companies paying retail prices on devices. COPE allows businesses to purchase devices with nice corporate discounts which in turn saves money for the employee by having the devices they requested provided for them.

Another worry for businesses using the BYOD model is the fear of having their information lost or stolen. Employee owned devices offer a greater security risk because of certain laws. For instance, in the European Union and South Korea there are specific laws that forbid a company from wiping data from equipment it doesn’t own. If an employee leaves their tablet on a plane or taxi, any important information on that device is open to anyone. Since the company owns the device in a COPE strategy they are able to retrieve or wipe data from these devices regardless of any laws or regulations.

COPE can also make it easier for a company’s IT department. They have the opportunity to pre configure the device before handing it to employees, therefore deploying the same hardware to every employee. In a BYOD setting, an IT department faces the issue of not being able to repair all the possible devices and operating systems.

Is COPE for You?

Winthrop explains that COPE should be viewed as more than just “Corporate LIability 2.0.” He explains that BYOD and COPE is less about devices and more about enablement. Enabling mobility in the workplace to increase your productivity is the end result of both strategies.

As we have discussed, a COPE strategy offers large benefits to the end user that is similar to a BYOD strategy. Utilizing a COPE strategy still gives companies the ability to protect themselves and their information. In the end both parties benefit from the agreement. The IT department regains control of important data and keeps work data secure, while giving the employees the devices they want.