Thinking about CYOD? Not So Fast, My Friend


Thought Leadership

Thinking about CYOD? Not So Fast, My Friend

Zix Staff

You may have heard about a new trend called Choose-Your-Own-Device, or CYOD.

It gives employees the “freedom” to use a device they know and understand by allowing them to choose from a narrow list of corporate pre-approved mobile devices. For employers, it provides more control over device management and security within their organizations.

In theory, it sounds like BYOD nirvana.

Our response to that comes courtesy of Lee Corso : “Not So Fast, My Friend”

CYOD is simply a new term for the old corporate device program.

The idea behind CYOD suggests that if you give employees a choice in what device they use, they’ll be satisfied with a small semblance of mobile freedom. However, BYOD originally came to light because employees wanted the freedom to use their own devices in the workplace. CYOD, on the other hand, is a step backwards, simply repackaging unpopular policies of the past. Beyond providing a false sense of choice and freedom to employees, CYOD also has a few pitfalls.

  • CYOD is costly for the employer.

In order for CYOD to be successful, companies need to invest in the latest devices, which increase cost. In addition, when you toss in the fact that once you invest in the smart phones and tablets, companies will need some form of mobile device management to track the devices they give out. Although you’ll need a BYOD security solution to protect data accessed by employee-owned devices, the costs are ultimately lower.

  • CYOD walks a privacy tightrope.

By deploying CYOD, employers are expecting employees to use their corporate-owned devices as their only connection to the office. In doing so, it’s unrealistic to think that employees won’t perform personal activities on those corporate devices. However, this raises a privacy problem. As employees conduct personal activities on the device, where is the line drawn as to what the company can monitor? If the company has access to that information, it could lead to legal issues, such as lawsuits associated with labor relations or employee terminations.

  • CYOD is inconvenient and hinders productivity.

One of the main benefits of BYOD is that it allows employees to be more productive. By simply having access to corporate email and applications on their personal devices, employees are more connected and can access company information when and where they need it. When you give employees a second device, they either experience the hassle of carrying around both or make the decision to only carry one — which, away from work, will usually be the personal device.

In the end, CYOD has many flaws. Mobile devices have become deeply ingrained in who people are. They are personalized with apps, shortcuts, photos and music. CYOD will never be able to replicate that level of personalization, and this could be its biggest flaw. As much as CYOD seems like a great idea, it will never be able to replace the experience of using your own device.

Whether your company chooses to use a BYOD or CYOD strategy, it’s important for company data to remain secure no matter the strategy. ZixCorp has a security solution to meet that security need without jeopardizing productivity, convenience or privacy.