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I say tomato, you say tomatoe: the new BYOD

Rick_Barron ‎02-11-2014 12:23 PM - edited ‎09-09-2015 10:27 AM


People bring their own device to work for a few main reasons:

  • The first one is because employees are by nature comfortable with their device. They never leave without their mobile phone. It’s with them 24/7. They know all the various details of their mobile device. They’re comfortable with what they know.
  • Secondly, the company devices provided are, not what you would want. In some cases the devices are not current and out of date.
  • Employees know that if they are issued a corporate device and if it doesn’t work you have to work with IT support…can you say slow!?

According to a Gartner Group survey, 38 percent of companies will stop providing devices to employees by 2016. The benefits of BYOD are leading companies to re-consider their initial stance on the topic. These benefits include creating new mobile workforce opportunities, increasing employee satisfaction, and reducing or avoiding costs. Do companies really have a choice? Not really, BYOD isn’t going anywhere. However, there’s a flipside to the coin. Could BYOD cost your company more than you bargained for? In a word, yes.


A happy medium for 2014

CYOD (or choose-your-own-device) is a happy medium between corporate-issued desktops and laptops and users working from any device that they want. The principle idea is that a company selects which mobile device types they want to support, and makes these devices available to the end user. This route allows the company to avoid the challenges and security risks that are inherent with supporting any device type that an end user happens to want to use.

The benefit is that because the company owns the devices, they are free to impose the security policy of their choosing. This goes a long way toward mitigating fears of accidental data disclosure on lost or stolen devices. Additionally, the organization will be able to establish acceptable use policies that prevent employees from storing offensive content on devices.




Today, viruses, spam, identify theft, and more are becoming the norm rather than the exception. This dilemma is another reason why 2014 will be the year of CYOD. Some organizations have found it difficult to enforce security and usage policies on employee’s personal devices. Although some organizations require employees to consent to the mandatory use of passwords and other security mechanisms, others have not had any luck enforcing basic device-level security. Depending upon how the device accesses corporate resources, the lack of security could result in a major security incident if the device were ever lost or stolen.

This trend for CYOD is being driven by a variety of factors:

  1. Support costs—In a BYOD environment, some users will want to use mainstream devices and others will use out of date devices.  Then the helpdesk staff is asked to support end-user devices that they know absolutely nothing about.
  2. Control—Enables employers to offers employees a choice of pre-approved devices.
  3. Security—The company owns the devices and therefore controls the security. Organizations can ensure all devices contain software to wipe sensitive data should they be lost or stolen, as well as easily replace the devices. 

A downside to all this is that employees may not necessarily agree with the approved list of devices and may prefer using their own personal device for work purposes. Also, the organizations incur the cost of the devices being used.



So what’s the difference?


BYOD: The company allows employees to bring their own devices to the office and use them for work purposes. While the majority of these plans focus on mobile devices, there are some companies that even allow users to bring their own computers to work on in the office too.

CYOD: CYOD is a policy that allows users to choose from a number of approved devices. Usually, the company provides these devices and keeps them if the employee leaves or resigns.


BYOD: Let’s look at the bottom line—adopting this policy can save companies money, because the purchase and maintenance of devices is at the expense of the owner of the device, not the company. Productivity is increased because employees are comfortable using their own device.

CYOD: A company benefits from the policy because they get to pick what devices to offer and also manage them. It also means it can limit access to apps, information, and even certain functions. Another benefit, which is getting lots of attention today, is security. A company can manage the devices, plus install virus scanners and other programs that help ensure the networks and the info stored within are secure.


BYOD: The biggest drawback of this policy is that it does pose a potential security risk. Why? Individuals are accessing company networks and the sensitive data stored within them from their own devices. As a consequence, businesses may see an increase in security breaches, not to mention that it can be tough to control devices and restrict access to data.

CYOD: The drawback here that companies likely won't save any money on hardware, largely due to the fact they have to purchase and maintain the hardware.

Which concept is your organization going to look at in 2014? This is the time to have the conversations surrounding the benefits and costs of each.


I would like to continue the conversation on BYOD vs. CYOD. Feel free to reach out to me in the comment section below. 


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About the Author


Rick Barron is a Program Manager for various aspects of the PM team and HPSW UX/UI team; and working on UX projects associated with He has worked in high tech for 20+ years working in roles involving web design, usability studies, and mobile marketing. Rick has held roles at Motorola Mobility, Symantec and Sun Microsystems.

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