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BYOD, CYOD and COPE: Differences, Drawbacks and Benefits

Headshot of a woman By Jennifer Warren December 11, 2020

Categories: Bring Your Own Managed Mobility

How should businesses handle and manage mobile devices? All mid-market to enterprise size organizations should be asking themselves this question. And the answer begins with choosing mobile policy options. BYOD, CYOD and COPE are acronyms well known in the mobility industry. They stand for Bring Your Own Device, Choose Your Own Device, and Corporate-Liable/Corporate-Owned, Personally Enabled.

What do they mean?

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) allows employees to use their personal devices for work purposes. Employers will pay a stipend to employees.

Choose Your Own Device (CYOD) gives employees a choice of pre-approved mobile devices. This is an alternative to BYOD. Depending on the policy, the employee might pay for the device and own it, or the company will pay employees a stipend to cover the costs but will retain ownership.

Corporate-Owned, Personally Enabled (COPE) programs is when companies provide mobile devices to employees for work and allow personal use. Employers will own the device and pay to maintain it.

Benefits and Drawbacks of BYOD, CYOD and COPE

There are benefits and drawbacks to each mobile option. In many ways, COPE is easier to support than BYOD. Your organization procures the devices, streamlines device enrollment and application deployment. With BYOD, device enrollment is done on an individual basis as employees bring them in. BYOD will keep upfront costs down. While launching a COPE policy will have greater upfront costs, the bottom line is simple. Understanding your corporate needs and culture will help guide you in deciding which mobile policy option, or options, to choose.

Most organizations recognize the difficulties in managing their mobility in-house. Does that mean outsourcing Managed Mobility Services is the only option? Not necessarily, but here are some common pain points that may bring a VP of IT to tears.

Data Security

Without visibility into usage, carrier billing, etc, the possibility for data and security breaches increases.


Many times, decision makers “promote” the IT department to the task of managing a company’s mobility program. This will stretch company resources, taking focus away from what employees in the IT department were initially hired to do.


Companies with mobile device experts in their IT department are in luck. Unfortunately, that’s rarely the case and fixing or troubleshooting computer problems doesn’t translate perfectly to mobile devices. What’s more, an IT department may not be the only department handling mobility. Sometimes companies split the responsibility across a few departments, including HR and Finance. None of them have the time, knowledge or expertise to manage a robust mobility program.

Mobile Policy

Without a mobile policy, things can get tangled pretty quickly. If there are no parameters for administrators to guide them, how can they manage mobile devices? All companies with a mobile device program need to create a Mobile Services Policy that includes processes and procedures.

Questions to Ask MMS Providers

If your organization has decided to partner with an MMS provider, here are six questions you should ask.

1) How automated is your platform?

A managed mobility services provider’s platform should be agile and customizable to run a variety of reports if/when needed.

2) What happens to my data if everything goes down? How long will it take to get things running again?

This shouldn’t happen often, if at all. But if it does, there should be security features in place to protect customer data. If a provider can’t restore their system within a few hours, there’s a problem.

3) How scalable is your platform?

Companies need a platform that is scalable and can maintain consistent effectiveness. Take for example, organizations that acquire companies regularly. They need to onboard new employees at a fast rate. MMS providers should provide their implementation process. This includes directions and time needed to be up and running.

4) Our company utilizes a hybrid approach with Bring Your Own Device and Corporate-Liable. Does your platform support both?

Whether a company has adopted a BYOD, Corporate-Liable or hybrid program, there should be one platform for all.

5) Do you offer in-house Help Desk Support?

It is important to know where the help desk support team is located. An outsourced team may not be well-versed in company technology needs and/or policy guidelines.

6) Do we have to change carriers?

The correct answer is: “No, we are carrier agnostic.” Companies shouldn’t chose an MMS provider that works solely with one carrier. If they do, they won’t be looking out for what will benefit the customer’s company regarding efficiency and cost.

Why should companies use a Managed Mobility Services Provider?

Organizations at the mid-market or enterprise level should outsource their mobility. A managed mobility services provider can offer considerable financial and time savings, in addition to security through full lifecycle management of mobile devices from device procurement to device retirement. MMS suppliers have the expertise a company’s in-house team does not. Not to mention, adding additional responsibilities on top of the tasks they were hired to do is neither efficient nor productive.

The Takeaway

The myth of an all or nothing mobile policy is a common misconception. Organizations may opt to have a hybrid. Our Motus’ Device Platform accommodates BYOD, CYOD and COPE mobile policies. Companies should weigh their options and understand the needs, pain points, and challenges of managing mobility in-house. If you’re considering outsourcing your mobility, Motus is here to help. Interested in learning more about our managed mobility services?

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