MSP Dilemma: BYOD VS COPE

MSP Dilemma: BYOD VS COPE

Take a look at the headlines, and you'll find bring your own device (BYOD) dominating the coverage. Corporate-owned, personally enabled (COPE), another mobility model, is nowhere to be found, waiting for its big break. Will COPE control the spotlight by overtaking BYOD within the next few years? Xchanging Senior Director for Sourcing Solutions Brian Rapp (pictured) seems to think so. How many organizations will adopt the COPE model? What are the differences between the two models? Is managing devices easier or more difficult with the COPE model? Rapp explains in this MSPmentor exclusive.

Many managed services providers (MSPs) will shift over to the COPE model, Rapp says. In fact, he adds, trendwise most providers are already there. Many MSPs are already adopting the model. "More than 75 percent of organizations utilizing BYOD have reported data lost," he explains. "Security is a big concern with the BYOD model." COPE alleviates many security concerns, since the organization owns the device and has the ability to monitor policies and protect devices, without any hassle. "In the next three years, we believe that 70 percent of global organizations will adopt COPE."

The major difference between the two models is the way personal data is managed. Personal devices are used with BYOD. IT administrators create a secure, separate area for work data on an employee's personal device. With COPE, on the other hand, it's the exact opposite, allowing administrators to govern the corporate-owned device more closely. "The organization owns the device, but still allows the employee to customize," says Rapp. Employee can customize with apps and email. Employees are Big Brother free.

Besides giving more control to organizations, COPE also saves a business money in legal fees. It takes time and money for HR to draft legal policies policies for BYOD, Rapp explains. Legal issues will be less of a concern with COPE, for devices will no longer be employee-owned and subject to privacy laws.

With COPE, Rapp explains, employees can select devices within a device catalog, relieving IT of managing a wide range of devices. By offering a device catalog, employees, Rapp says, still feel like they have a choice. Unlike with BYOD, businesses can say that these are the devices that we are going to support. These device catalogs are updated yearly.

"If organizations are considering BYOD, they need to be considering COPE. MSPs are already offering these services today. It's there, and it's in its infancy," Rapp says.

Another opinion ...

TUC Managed IT Solutions President and Founder Mark Scott concerns himself more with the growing consumerization of IT. "I would say COPE fits with more traditional view of IT within corporations," he explains. "Clearly COPE is easier for the MSP to manage as all hardware and software is locked down, so the device costs are higher but management would be lower."

Scott believes, though, that selecting either model depends on the customer. "BYOD really fits the growing consumerization of IT with the device costs being lower, but the management more complex and (potentially) expensive. Desktop-as-a-Service, where the complete PC environment is assessable from any device, mitigates the management costs of BYOD."

Our opinion ...

While COPE does have many benefits for IT, what kind of a backlash are organizations going to receive from the "Emma Watsons" of the world? Are these employees really concerned with privacy or would they rather use their own device? Rapp mentions the idea of Big Brother, a common concept we hear often, and how employees are concerned with IT monitoring their personal devices. Though, are they really that concerned?

We've given up a lot of our privacy, right? How many of us have Facebook accounts, where we share personal photographs of our friends and families at private events? How many of us have Linkedin accounts, revealing our work information? The Emma Watsons of the world are not concerned with privacy; they are too busy revealing intimate details from their love life on Twitter. For them, there's no line separating public and private.
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