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CYOD: How Does a Chose Your Own Device Program Work?

Headshot of a woman By Jennifer Warren March 13, 2020

Categories: IT Insights Managed Mobility

What is CYOD and how can your company make use of it?

Let’s start with the obvious. Smart phone usage is standard practice, both at and outside of work. But not every company has a reimbursement plan for their mobile-enabled workers. If employees make calls on their personal phone, access emails or anything else for work, they aren’t compensated for it. In recent legislation, several states have made that lack of reimbursement a violation of labor law. So, what’s a company to do?

There are several mobile service management options available. In this post we’ll be covering CYOD.

What is CYOD?

CYOD stands for “Choose your own device.” Choose Your Own Device is a type of mobile device management program that allows employees to select a company-provided phone to use at work.

So, let’s say theres a company called Phones4U. And they have a number of employees that are constantly mobile, always using their phone for work. To avoid the risk of labor law violations, they offer employees a phone they can use during business hours for calls, emails and such. But, instead of picking one phone model and issuing it to every employee, Phones4U lets them select one of several options.

What are the advantages of CYOD?

Risk and Security

A CYOD program minimizes the risk of labor law violation related to a company’s cell phone policy – which is great, because lawsuits can get expensive. The devices chosen by mobile-enabled workers are not their personal devices and the company handles the carrier billing.

Second, company information is more secure on company-owned devices. Companies can outfit devices with necessary applications and appropriate security measures before giving them to employees. Some organizations prefer this over a BYOD (bring your own device) option, where mobile-enabled employees use their personal devices and the company reimburses them.


Along similar lines, companies don’t have to worry about managing employee reimbursement. Outsourcing this process can be an additional expense. IT departments can support and manage applications and access with less complexity when they have a consistent set of devices to support.


Additionally, employees get to pick the device they’d like to use. There may not be much of a choice, depending on the devices offered in the program, but Android fans don’t want to be forced onto an iOS device and vice versa.

What are the disadvantages of CYOD?


With a CYOD program, the company carries all the costs: the hardware, phone service, data and staff for support. Even with negotiated discounts, those costs add up. And don’t forget about adding headcount to support the program.


As mentioned above, not every company is equipped with an IT department that can take on support for mobile devices. The costs can be a disadvantage – whether a company adds a person to handle device support or takes an employee away from other projects.

What should your company do?

Education is the first step toward making company changes, so if you’ve made it this far, you’re already one foot down the right path. But there are plenty of other mobile device management options to compare: BYOD, CPD, COPE. Check out our managed mobility services content to learn more!

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