BYOD and COPE in a Mobile World
Mobile devices—smart phones, tablets (iPads), and laptops—are making it increasingly easy to stay in touch but they create some interesting challenges for the small business owner. How do you control access to your company’s data when you don’t own the device it’s being accessed from? If your employees are allowed to synchronize corporate email and contacts to their personal phone, what happens to that data if the phone gets stolen or the employee leaves the company?
Mobile Device Management (MDM) tools give us a way to remotely manage mobile devices—including remotely wiping them—but what if the device contains irreplaceable personal data, like family photos or videos? One alternative would be to provide a company phone or other mobile device, but this forces your employees to juggle their business and personal lives (email and calendar) across multiple devices (or use the company device for personal use).
So do you allow employees to “bring your own device” (BYOD) or do you provide them with a “corporately-owned, personally-enabled” (COPE) one? There is no simple answer and as the two linked articles above point out, the more you peel back the layers on this onion, the more difficult the questions become.
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