For large organizations, the up-front price tag of bring-your-own-device policies is appealing. By simply letting employees bring their own personal devices into the enterprise environment, those organizations can save a lot by not purchasing their own company-owned devices.
Those savings can easily add up to hundreds of dollars per employee, which is why BYOD has become a top device management strategy. But as BYOD has grown more popular, its flaws have also been exposed. While it can offer short-term savings, companies are seeing greater long-term costs, along with heightened security risks.
As those issues become more glaring, companies have gone looking for more efficient device management strategies.
The problem with BYOD
At first glance, BYOD is much cheaper than alternative device management strategies. Companies have to invest in the infrastructure to manage those devices, but they get out of paying for the hardware itself — and those savings can run into the millions for large companies.
But the savings of BYOD only work in a hypothetical scenario where security breaches never happen. There’s a clear problem with this scenario, mainly that BYOD infrastructures are more liable to breaches. When you enter in the personal devices of hundreds or thousands of employees — all of which may operate on different devices, operating systems, and software — companies integrate innumerable points of potential breach.
“When you enter in the personal devices of hundreds or thousands of employees, companies integrate innumerable points
of potential breach.”
No matter how well the system is managed, a BYOD environment will likely suffer a security breach at some point. Those breaches can be extremely expensive for companies with BYOD policies: As CIO reports, the average cost of a data breach for BYOD environments amounts to more than $150 per device, or $1.57 million in losses per company. Those figures are much higher for enterprises dealing with sensitive data: in the healthcare industry, for example, the cost-per-record is a whopping $363.
When those long-term management and data breach costs are included, BYOD often presents a higher long-term cost than company-owned device policies. That’s why a new device management alternative is quickly gaining steam as an upgrade over BYOD policies.
Embracing the COPE model
Organizations are gradually replacing BYOD policies with company-owned, personally enabled devices policies. This form of device governance, known as COPE, strikes a balance between corporate and personal device management by simplifying the environment through calculated compromises.
In the COPE model, businesses own the devices — personal technology is not entered into the enterprise mobility environment. But these corporate devices are governed by flexible policies that allow for more flexible personal use.
“IT management costs go down, but companies still enjoy the benefits of BYOD policies, such as the ability
for employees to work
remotely and from home.”
Employees can even choose the type of device they use, as well as the apps installed on their devices, but IT can place restrictions on those choices, ensuring that devices can be easily managed, according to Tech Target. More importantly, these parameters can minimize the risk of security breaches and preserve the integrity of the enterprise environment.
IT management costs go down, but companies still enjoy the benefits of BYOD policies, such as the ability for employees to work remotely and from home. But COPE often winds up costing less in the long run, since the average cost of managing a single mobile device can range from $30 to $45 per month.
COPE costs more up-front, and in some cases can cost more. But the long-term savings will balance out those costs, while reduced security risks and maintained productivity measures nullify the top attractions of BYOD solutions. Given this new dynamic, it’s no surprise BYOD is falling out of fashion as more enterprises turn to COPE.