The Different Types of Enterprise Device Initiatives

Published Mar 5, 2019 11:34:29 AM in Tech News

Over the years, enterprise device initiatives have evolved to meet user expectations and preferences. These are the most common approaches to business device ownership.


Twenty-five years ago, most organizations were standardized on a single operating system, and typically a single type of computer. In most cases, these were Windows computers. Fast forward to today, we have a mix of device types and operating systems - Mac, Windows, Android, iOS - the list goes on. Added to this, there has been an evolution in how devices are provisioned and maintained.

At first, the world was simple: devices were corporate-owned. Consumer expectations changed the world of device ownership, with employees wanting newer or different models of laptops and smartphones. We entered an era of complex demands and complex acronyms.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

In the bring your own device approach, employees choose and pay for their own devices and services. While low in cost, this approach can make it more difficult to manage configurations or support. The biggest fear in BYOD is that data will be at risk, either from unmanaged personal applications or through a lack of security on these devices.

Although this model comes with the highest level of user convenience, not all employees want to bear the cost burden associated with purchasing their work devices or paying for their carrier services.

Choose Your Own Device (CYOD)

In the choose your own device approach, organizations support an approved list of devices that are employee-owned with the goal to streamline support. These devices may be subsidized and retained by organizations when employees leave, but come with greater control over security and settings.

The goal of CYOD is to reduce the complexity of overseeing and managing the number of devices connecting to the network. With fewer devices available, management (in theory) would be easier and more secure.

Corporate-Owned, Personally Enabled (COPE)

In the corporate-owned, personally enabled approach organizations purchase devices primarily for work use, with allowances for some personal applications, sometimes via containerization. Under this model, organizations set up and control enterprise applications and security. Tighter management and support are cornerstones here.

The Future of Device Provisioning

As you can see, many device provisioning policies have evolved to balance the needs of security and support with employee demands for choice and flexibility.

There is a great fear that BYOD will bring unmanaged devices onto the corporate network, but this need not be the case. You can still have a BYOD device policy fully supported by mobile device management (MDM), with the option to provide applications and documents via self-service. Under your BYOD policy, you can blacklist devices that do not meet minimum security standards for patching or security applications. FileWave’s adaptable BYOD enrollment and zero-touch updates can ensure devices remain up-to-date with little to no impact on end users.

If we consider the advances of management, all of these acronyms are moot. We are circling around the need to reduce complexity. That solution is not a complicated device provisioning program, but rather reducing the complexity of management. Organizations can move toward unified endpoint management (UEM) to manage all device types and operating systems, regardless of ownership.

If you take management off the table, the decision between BYOD, CYOD, or COPE is just one of ownership: who wants to pay for the device? Check out our white paper Managing the Masses: Device Control Eliminates Chaos to learn about different approaches to managing the multitude of devices present in business today.

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