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Enterprise Mobility: The Continuing Journey of Your Own Devices

Organisations have been and are being focused on enabling enterprise mobility for its workforce. This helps the company to transform employee performance, mobilize business processes and deploy apps to improve productivity and enhance customer service. Companies can’t run the risk of going late in adoption of Enterprise mobility. With BYOD policy in place in many of the companies, almost all their employees are mobile-enabled/equipped now.

With BYOD, the policy allows employees to bring their personally owned mobile device to their workplace and connect to the corporate network and work on them. And for this policy(pure BYOD), there is no restriction on the device, technology, OS version etc. Considering the challenges in implementing the BYOD policy to provide secure and managed services by the IT department, we see a change in the “Your Own Device” policy.

Is it a true BYOD?

We all would have heard about BYOD. But is it a true BYOD? Or is it more of a CYOD? If we closely look at the policy, we can find the difference. Let us have at look at it.

What CYOD is?

Choose Your Own Device from a list of pre-approved devices. This means that employees can bring in devices as long as they are on the approved list. The IT department tests and approves the latest versions of the popular devices that can be managed securely where it can deploy and certify company apps which the employees can access anywhere. This list provides a choice to the employee to choose the device of their preference. This makes it a managed-BYOD(MBYOD) where the enterprise can have control over the corporate data in these devices. In general, employee own the choice of the device from the given list. But who owns the device? That varies according to the policies.

BYOD vs CYOD: Choose or/and Bring your own device?

BYOD offers freedom to use any device as there is no pre-approved list restriction by IT whereas CYOD doesn’t give that freedom. With CYOD, offering employees a choice of approved devices will provide more control for IT to provide secure and managed services compared to allowing them to bring any smartphone or tablet they want. Most of the companies test and approve the latest versions of the popular devices as early as possible thus giving a wide range of choice for the employees to choose from. With the right range of devices, CYOD may provide the same employee satisfaction offered by BYOD. Thus CYOD bridge the gap between employee choice and employer responsibility to manage and secure the IT environment.

CYOD: Who owns the device?

The different “Your Own Device” policies may fall into the following categories.


  1. BYOD – Pure BYOD. Employee can bring in any device.
  2. CBYOD (Choose and Bring Your Own Device) – It is a CYOD policy, where the employee can choose and bring the device available in the list of approved devices. In both 1 & 2, employee is the owner of the device.
  3. In this policy, either the company provides the device or provides a reimbursement(with a limit) to the employee on purchase of a device under CYOD policy. If the cost is more than the eligible reimbursement limit, the employee can spend extra money from his pocket.This allows the employee to buy the device of his choice even if the device costs above the reimbursement limit. But here, unlike 1 & 2, the owner of the device would be the company until the end of employment contract, after which the employee can own the device with no corporate access. Since 2 & 3 comes under CYOD, company has more control and can remotely wipe corporate data and access, in case of loss of the device or end of employment contract.
  4. COPE (Corporate Owned, Personally Enabled) – In this policy, the device is owned by the company unlike 1, 2 & 3. Employee can still choose the device under CYOD policy. With COPE, employees can use corporate devices for personal use.

The future of “Your Own”

Though we have different acronyms or phrases for different policies, “Your Own Device” may still be continued to known as BYOD for sometime. We do not know how long the “Device” part in BYOD stays. It could be an entirely new “Your Own” policy that may become the trend in future. It may be “Your Own Interface” with “Your Own Cloud”.

“Your Own Interface” with BYOI / CYOI

The future could be the virtual interfaces that provide virtual laser displays and keyboards. So there is no physical device here. It could be virtually created and projected to work with. And you might have the provision to create or customize the virtual interface of your choice. Be it virtual displays of different look and feel, and size. Be it virtual keyboards of different languages. This enables users to create/switch virtual displays and keyboards at their will. It can be BYOI ( Bring Your Own Interface )/ CYOI ( Choose Your Own Interface ). The metadata for creating the virtual interface could be stored in and accessed from the cloud. And the actual data/content would be residing and processing may be happening at a different place. It may be “Your Own Cloud” with BYOC / CYOC.

“Your Own Cloud” with BYOC / CYOC

  • BYOC(Bring Your Own Cloud) – where employees can utilize their own personal cloud or third-party cloud services instead of the company’s own cloud services to perform their work.
  • CYOC(Choose Your Own Cloud) – where employees can choose from an approved list of cloud services and utilize it to perform work-related and personal tasks.

I am just thinking wild and crazy 😉 Soaring to new heights of innovation, it may not come to the wildest of our dreams now, what goes “Your Own” in future for BYO*/CYO* or for some other YO*. The world of innovative thinking has no limits. You can think big, think wild and think crazy 😉

Read: Enterprise Mobility | Mobile PlatformCloud ComputingBusiness Trends

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  • one really has to wonder about the merits of  BYOD or CYOD, is it really a benefit, being able to bring your own device, being able to bring your own tools to enable you to perform your duties ?

    next there will be,

    BYOD – Bring Your Own Desk

    BYOC – Bring Your Own Chair

    BYOCM – Bring Your Own Coffee Machine

    BYOFS – Bring Your Own Flat Screen

    can anybody thing of any more opportunities for the BYO movement ?


    • Hehe, we are already at BYOCM in my office.  Several of the cubes around me have Keurig coffee makers in them (usually with a handful of employees pooling resources for the K-cups and the most dedicated being the owner of the actual machine).  We’re very close to a BYOD(esk) as the fight over paying for sit-stand desks ensues (I finally got approval for one, but I was very close to just buying my own in frustration).  I’ve also seen some custom chairs out there.  In fact, I have one, not really my own, but one I held over from an office move years ago because I really dislike the new ones we provide.

      As for BYOD(evice) or CYOD, I am one of many people here using a personal smartphone to connect to corporate email and calendaring, for receiving automated alerts, etc.  We also have a growing number of managers (school principals) who are using their discretionary funds to purchase whatever tablet or laptop they fancy and then asking it to be connected to our enterprise applications, so those are organization-owned but personally-chosen devices.  That’s how Macs and iPads suddenly got into the mix of our previously pure Windows environment, and “we don’t support that platform” wasn’t really an option.

      • Hi Matt,

        thanks for sharing your insights 🙂

        I was wondering if anybody has looked into potential savings derived from implementing BYOD strategies, this article shows up at the top of my search list on google.


    • Hi Andy,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts 🙂

      BYO – Desk, Chair, Coffee Machine etc are indeed very good points for the organizations to consider, and employees to push for if they would like to have. Nowadays, BYOC – Bring Your Own Chair happens at times when employee gets injured due to poor sitting posture and is advised by the doctor to get their own chair, keyboard..

      I am sure there will be more BYO movements. It might as well be surprising.

      Thanks & Best Regards,


      • Well, I’m not sure that employees should push for having to pay for their own desks and chairs.  This doesn’t feel like a win for the employee.  If an employee requires a special chair that costs more than whatever is the corporate standard, and has a doctor’s written note to that effect, it’s likely that ADA rules will require the corporation to provide a medically or physically appropriate chair.  The sit-stand desk I have cost my employer about $600, and that was an inexpensive model designed to fit into typical cubes.  That might be a bit much of an outlay for many employees who might prefer to avoid the well-documented issues associated with sitting for many hours every day.  We are large enough that we have an ‘ergonomics officer’ (or title somewhat to that effect) who is pushing for more of these desks, but at the moment they are still a rarity and I get a number of curious visitors wondering why they can always see my head poking up above the cubicle partitions who then become fascinated with the desk.  It has the added advantage that I can see my boss coming along the hallway before he arrives…. 😉

        As for adding the corporate email and calendar on my phone, we do issue Blackberries to those employees with an obvious need for full-time connection, but we allow connecting personal devices (iPhone, Android, etc) as an option.  I chose that option because I really don’t want to carry two phones around all the time (I look geeky enough as it is).

        Of course, the ultimate BYO is BYOO… Bring Your Own Office, also known as telecommuting.  I can do this on an ad-hoc basis when something requires me to be at home, such as being present for a contractor, or when I have to work late at night or through a weekend, but at present we have no policy allowing regular telecommuting, which is unfortunate.

        • Hi Matt,

          It would be better not to wait until one gets disabled (ADA rules – Disabilities Act, if I have not got wrong) to bring/choose their own. As always, prevention is better than cure, and so an ergonomic assessment would be valuable at workplace and see if “Bring Your Own” Chair, Desk is necessary.

          The future for sure, has more potential for BYOO – Bring Your Own Office. With advanced innovative technologies like telepresence, one would no longer feel the distance wherever they are( in the world ).

          Thanks & Best Regards,


          • Hi Leon,

            I think we are getting crossed wires here.

            Am I missing something with the BYOxy Movement, isn’t it better the have the employer sponsor capital expenditures which will increase end user productivity ?

            Best regards,


          • No Andy, you are not missing. We are on the same page.

            Which of my point made you think otherwise?

            Thanks & Best Regards,


          • Hi Leon,

            I think employees should not have to pay for the tools they need to deliver their responsibilities.

            As far as I understand, BYO movement is about lobbying employers to allow employees to provide their own tools which they prefer for delivering their responsibilities.

            For me this is upside down.

            BYO should focus on CYO where the employer funds the object of choice.

            If these thoughts suggest or question the intentions of giving from the employee towards the employer then I would argue, an employee giving full power delivery of their duties combined with unpaid extra hours where necessary will be a more profitable give towards the whole organisation than the employee bringing their own device or tool to help them complete their duties.

            If an employee needs a tool to complete their duties and the business case makes sense then I see no reason why the employer should question within reason the investment. If the employee then delivered higher productivity and extra hours without compensation when needed then the give and take would be balanced and the higher productivity and extra hours would be worth more to the employee than the employee’s investment in a tool.

            Best regards,


          • Hi Andy,

            I completely agree with you. The focus is on CYO where employer funds and provides the device of choice. If there is a valid business case, there would be no question on the investment for sure. Oranizations try their best to procure the devices if the business makes sense.

            The limits are set only is certain cases, e.g buying a Blackberry, Mobile phone etc. to make calls and check mails. A reasonable allowance limit is set to buy a good model, but may not be enough to buy the most expensive high end model in that series. And the company as well pays the telephone bill for official usage. The policies may be different in different countries.

            Thanks & Best Regards,