Identifying Your Mobile Device Management Strategy

Not all roads lead to BYOD.

Business paths diverge when it comes to mobile device management (MDM) strategy; as consumerization and mobility have become more prevalent within the enterprise, so has the variety in both corporate and customer requirements. According to Hyoun Park, “The proliferation of mobile devices has led to a similar proliferation of enterprise mobility support models. As your organization considers how to move forward to support mobile devices, applications, data, content, and unified communications, keep in mind how enterprise mobility is currently supported within your organization.”


Park states that the blanket term of BYOD can be broken down into eight specific categories that better represent specific strategies and objectives for the business.

Eight Ways to Structure Your MDM

COLD: Corporate Owned, Locked Down

Provides both a secure device and secure gateway, with rigorous policies surrounding lost or stolen devices. “In today's world, this model has only become even more secure with the encryption of voice calls, multifactor authentication, content and application virtualization to prevent improper sharing, and sandboxes used to isolate applications and content.”

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COBRA: Corporate Owned, Business Ready Applications

New employees are given corporate devices pre-loaded with applications geared towards the mobile worker. “This might be as simple as including Dropbox, Box, or Evernote. This could also include mobile CRM and ERP applications, help desk applications, and productivity enablers.”


COPE: Corporate Owned, Personally Enabled

All devices are compartmentalized into corporate-owned and personally-owned. “This can be done by dedicating an enterprise-specific portion of the device to the applications and documents used in the workplace, while dedicating the rest of the device to Facebook, Angry Birds, personal e-mail accounts, and whatever else the employee wants to put on the device.”


CAPO: Corporate Approved, Personally Obtained

Devices are purchased by employees, but must meet corporate guidelines. “These standards can be as simple as supporting the company's security or mobile device management standards or as complex as defining specific policies to shut off nearfield communications, camera, and other functions.”


EQUAL: EQuipment Under Approved List

EQUAL is a version of CAPO; all devices or operating systems are company ordained. “This allows companies to focus on the devices and operating systems they support without being overwhelmed by the evolution of mobility across every possible platform. However, the focus comes at the potential cost of creating a new version of shadow IT from unsupported devices.”


PEER: Personally Equipped, Enterprise Ready

PEER is a version of the COPE model; rather than the company funding the device, the employee makes the purchase instead. “The PEER model allows companies to put business applications, security, and governance onto a personally owned device. Employees agree to give businesses the control needed to transmit and support these applications.”


POOR: Personally Owned, Office Required

A somewhat controversial model that dictates employees must fund a device (sans employer compensation) in order to fulfill job requirements. “POOR is expected to become more troublesome as states increasingly see class action lawsuits that, like Cochran, are created based on a combination of state labor laws and BYOD requirements.”


CHAOS: Corporate Handles All Operating Systems

Often IT’s least favorite BYOD option, this means corporate supports all operating systems regardless of platform. “From an operational perspective, this approach often results in users falling through the cracks as IT is unable to provide employees with enterprise applications because vendors have never developed them for a specific platform. And from a support perspective, IT is constantly on the phone with additional support staff to troubleshoot unfamiliar devices.”

As the device market continues to evolve, remember to refresh your strategy and policies often to keep pace with our ever-changing world.

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