With all the industry buzz around BYO programs for businesses, it can be hard to know which to choose. With more employees working remotely than ever before, BYO is not going away any time soon, and seems to be growing more in popularity by the day. One device program that is gaining more adopters is what is called COPE, or Corporate Owned, Personally Enabled. As a hybrid between BYOD and Corporate owned device programs, COPE allows employees to use company owned devices for personal activities including social sites, e-mail, and calls while mitigating risks and lowering costs for the employer. This is a win-win for everyone, especially the company because of the hard and soft savings benefits of the program. The company lowers the cost of IT, licensing, security, maintenance, and even the cost of the plans and phones themselves.
Device Compatibility and Licensing
A BYOD program will have many brands and models of devices that IT must configure for connection and compatibility to the company network and servers. This can mean hours with the help desk solving user issues and software updates. Some employees may have older devices that are not even compatible with network and security protocols. With COPE a company can choose which devices to offer its employees, therefor limiting selection, and ensuring all devices are compatible and meet software requirements. This increases both the time and cost savings per device in the company, freeing IT to handle more important tasks.
Licensing costs are also lower with COPE because the company owns all the devices. When a company does not own the device, each device may need its own license for each software application. IT can issue licenses for large numbers of devices at a time, saving time and money for implementation.
Security Risk Reduction
Another major money saver with COPE is reducing the cost and risks of device security. When an employee owns their own device, they can and often do, download apps with malware, which can corrupt or expose sensitive information. Many countries such as the United States, Australia, Britain, France, Germany, Ireland, and Spain have costly penalties for security breaches that expose personal information of any kind. Medical and financial information carry special compliance requirements and penalties for data exposure that can reach millions of dollars. In this case, sometimes the best offense is a good defense meaning the best way to save money is by making sure to lower the risk of information exposure by increasing data security measures. Since the company owns all the devices, it can employ any security apps and software that are needed to make sure that sensitive company or client data is secure.
The legal lines can blur between personal and work use. Issues with someone other than the employee using the phone and accessing sensitive data can be an obvious legal issue, but what about whether IT has the right to have access to an employee’s personal photos or messages? What about sensitive information on a terminated employee’s device? These are all serious risks that COPE negates. Because the company owns the device, the company has access to the information stored on the device, and the employee is aware and mindful. The legal cost is reduced because the risk is taken away.
Manageable Maintenance and Bulk Discounts
When a company owns the devices that are given to employees, it also cuts down on the cost of maintenance. Again, this goes back to the fact that the company chooses which devices are offered and does not have to fix issues with the multiple manufacturers and models. If there is an issue, IT can access and fix the issue quickly and often remotely, or even source a new device.
Further cost savings for the employer come from bulk discount device pricing. Sometimes, employers even choose to implement a reverse stipend, where the company passes savings on to the employee. For example, the $40 plan that the employee would normally pay is only $20 through the employer, simply taken out of the employee’s payroll. The company saves on buying the device, keeps up the inventory count and has the employee pay the discounted rate for the plan.
In summary, COPE delivers:
- Manageable technology environment with limited hardware assortment
- Reduced security risks and exposure
- Soft cost savings in maintenance and tech support
- Discounted rates for batch purchases for both hardware and licensing
While BYO plans are gaining in popularity, not all are created equal. Many companies are reporting that BYOD plans saved them upon initial implementation, but the savings declined as both hard and soft costs associated with the plan were assessed. COPE offers a great hybrid and increased savings across the board for both employee and employer.