Is BYO Done? COPE Finds A Way In Enterprise Mobility

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Enterprise mobility and its many facets is as wide-spreading as any workplace technology process in use, and when you peel back the layers of security, cloud, apps, artificial intelligence and the like, all companies have one major question that must first be addressed prior to hitting the road on the  mobile transformation journey: BYOD or COPE?

Bring Your Own Device is now easier than ever – eight iterations of Apple’s flagship iPhone, a nearly immeasurable number of Android operating systems across tens of thousands of unique devices – giving employees the capability to be as productive as possible while remaining comfortable with their personal user experience.

“We tend to look at BYOD as all or nothing,” said Nick McQuire, Vice President, CCS Insight. “But the devil is in the details when it comes to what’s trending around BYOD.”

In fact, McQuire said, some 60% of businesses surveyed by CCS Insight in late 2017 said they had a BYOD platform in place in 2015, 2016, and 2017, and showed more organizations were adopting formal programs each year.

“Companies aren’t going away from BYOD,” McQuire said. “In fact, maturity is accelerating.”

But that doesn’t meant BYOD is the be all, end all, either.

McQuire pointed to additional data that showed corporate purchasing of mobile devices has grown as much as 7% in recent years. The COPE environment can bring about simpler and more streamlined MDM, MAM, and user experience, McQuire said.

See related: Alaska Air Uses iPhones, iPads For Rapid Mobile Transformation

As recently reported by Enterprise Mobility Exchange, Alaska Airlines went full steam ahead with its enterprise mobility journey, using an iOS backbone for pilots, flight attendants, mechanics, and customer service personnel. While those lines of business were utilizing a COPE platform, the non-mission-critical environments – employees in corporate offices – were able to utilize a BYOD environment and take advantage of either Apple or Android devices.

Conversely, major enterprises like Aetna prefer to put flexibility and user experience at the forefront, where some 65% of their mobile workforce was able to utilize a BYOD environment, with the remainder of the 10,000 employees using COPE devices.

See related: Healthcare Giant Secures 10,000 Devices, Protects The Enterprise

“It’s never a one size fits all,” said McQuire. “Depending on the company and its size, opening up the possibility of all device types is too scary. With every new OS release comes a new major patch that mobile administrators would have to deal with.

“BYOD isn’t going away, and corporate purchasing is growing,” McQuire said. “Companies that have taken apps really seriously have leaned more toward COPE, and while security remains an issue, it hasn’t stopped companies from going BYOD for financial reasons.”

See related: Mobile Innovation Has Become An OS Nightmare

So BYOD is growing, and corporate spending on devices continues to climb. That means neither is dead or fading, and, mobility is continuing its journey to taking over the enterprise for bettering the future of work.

Additionally, the BYOD market value is expected to see a 22% CAGR now through 2023, proving that SMBs and enterprises alike haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of mobility’s capabilities.

Enterprise Mobility Exchange fielded a survey in 2017 that showed just 17 percent of IT executives adopted a BYOD platform in their enterprise. Additionally, some organizations used BYOD, then reverted back to a Corporately Owned, Personally Enabled (COPE) environment despite a higher cost.

The forecast of market value growth for BYOD environments is just a prediction, of course, but at no time since the bring-your-own movement was created in the late 2000s has it slowed down. Only time will tell.