CYOD: Benefits of the Choose-Your-Own-Device Concept for Corporate Cell Phones and Tips for Implementation 

Learn how the choose-your-own-device (CYOD) concept can increase employee productivity as well as satisfaction and discover practical tips for effective and safe implementation in your organization. 

What is Choose Your Own Device? 

Choose Your Own Device, CYOD for short, is a concept in which companies offer their employees a selection of devices from which they can choose for their professional tasks. These devices are usually purchased and provided by the company. Often, the devices may also be used for personal tasks, however, guidelines for the protection of company data must be adhered to. 

What Are the Benefits of Choose Your Own Device (CYOD)? 

When compared with the various concepts, the Choose Your Own Device (CYOD) concept scores with several advantages over other deployment models such as BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), COPE (Corporate-Owned, Personally Enabled) or COBO (Corporate-Owned, Business Only): 

  • Balance between choice and control: CYOD bridges the gap between the freedom offered by BYOD and the control offered by standardized one-size-fits-all models. Employees can choose from a select range of devices, giving them some freedom, while the organization keeps control over security and compliance. 
  • Simplified IT management: Unlike BYOD, where a variety of devices and operating systems must be managed, CYOD enables greater standardization. This simplifies the IT department’s tasks such as providing updates, security management and troubleshooting. 
  • Better security than BYOD: Because the devices in a CYOD model are provided by the enterprise, the enterprise has more control over security measures and can ensure that all devices are equipped with the required security protocols and software. 
  • Increased employee satisfaction: By offering employees a choice of devices, they can select the one that best suits the way they work. This is often more motivating and satisfying for employees than using a standardized device dictated by the company. At the same time, using devices that users are familiar with significantly reduces support costs.  

Overall, CYOD offers a balanced and effective solution that considers both the needs of the business and the preferences of employees. It combines the benefits of flexibility and employee choice with the benefits of security and control that come with company-owned devices. 

When introducing a CYOD concept, several legal aspects need to be considered in order to protect both the interests of the company and the rights of the employees. Here are some of the most important legal aspects that should be considered: 

  • Data protection and data security: It is important to comply with data protection laws such as the GDPR in the EU and to ensure that personal data is protected. This includes companies implementing proper security measures and informing employees about what data is collected and how it is used. 
  • Labor law provisions: Labor law provisions, such as compliance with working hours and break regulations, must also not be disregarded. A CYOD concept should make it clear that the use of the device for work purposes is subject to the applicable labor law provisions. 
  • Liability and insurance: Clarify who is liable for damage or loss of the device. In many cases, an agreement is made stating that the company is liable for damage occurring during working hours, while the employee is liable for damage outside working hours. 
  • Compliance: Ensure that your CYOD concept is in line with industry standards and regulatory requirements. Furthermore, it must be communicated transparently to what extent the company manages the devices in order to protect the privacy of the employees. 
  • Usage agreement: It is advisable to have a written agreement that sets out the terms and conditions for the equipment use. This should include, among other things, the employee’s responsibilities regarding security and maintenance of the device, compliance with company policies, and procedures in the event of loss or damage to the device. 
  • Cost sharing: If employees are required to contribute to the cost of more expensive equipment, it should be clearly defined how this cost sharing is to be handled and what legal framework applies. 

By taking these legal aspects into account, one can ensure that the CYOD concept is legally secure and that both the company and the employees are protected. It is always advisable to seek legal advice when developing a CYOD concept. 

Best Practices: Tips for Efficient Implementation Of Your CYOD Concept 

In this section, we present some tips on how to effectively implement your CYOD concept to ensure both employee satisfaction and corporate security. 

Tip 1: Limit device list to iOS and Android 

Limit your CYOD portfolio to iOS/iPadOS and Android devices. These operating systems are not only widely used, but also offer reliable security and management features that can be implemented via mobile device management (MDM).  

In addition, iOS and Android are future-proof as platforms, as they are constantly being further developed and receive long-term support due to their large user base. This means that the company’s investments in these platforms will still be relevant and usable in the future, supporting a sustainable and successful CYOD concept in the long term. 

Tip 2: Lease equipment instead of buying it 

Instead of buying equipment, the company can explore the option of leasing it. This offers financial flexibility and ensures that employees always have access to up-to-date equipment.  

Lease models can also include equipment maintenance and replacement, which means the company has less to worry about logistically and can instead focus on the core business. 

Tip 3: Consider co-paying for expensive equipment 

You may consider setting a maximum amount that the company will contribute to cover the cost of the devices. If employees want to choose a more expensive device, they must cover the difference themselves. This allows employees to choose high-end models while the company is financially protected.  

This concept not only promotes employee satisfaction through choice, but also contributes to a fair distribution of costs, since employees who opt for less expensive models do not indirectly help finance their colleagues’ choice of more expensive equipment. 

Tip 4: Introduce CYOD usage agreement and employee training 

Have employees sign a user agreement that establishes clear guidelines regarding device use, data security, and compliance with company policies. 

It is equally critical to provide supplemental training to ensure employees fully understand how to use their devices in accordance with company policies and regulatory requirements.  

This training can focus on aspects such as security protocols, privacy, and effective use of devices for work tasks, and help ensure consistent understanding and compliance with the user agreement. 

Tip 5: Implement Mobile Device Management (MDM) 

Use MDM solutions to enable centralized device management, enforce security policies, and protect corporate data.  

MDM helps apply configuration settings, deploy enterprise applications and manage network access, ensuring a consistent user experience across all devices. Locating, locking or wiping data from devices in the event of loss or theft is also possible with MDM software.  

In addition, MDM provides the ability to perform regular security scans and updates to ensure that devices are armed against the latest threats. This approach is essential not only to maintain the integrity of corporate data, but also to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and industry standards. 

Tip 6: Allow private use of devices 

It can be motivating for employees to be allowed to use their CYOD devices for private purposes as well. This can increase their satisfaction and loyalty to the company. Any risks in terms of security and data protection can be managed through effective implementation of MDM (as mentioned in point 5).  

MDM allows enforcing strict security policies and separating corporate data from personal data on the device. Thus, allowing private use of devices can be a win-win situation for both sides: Employees enjoy more freedom and flexibility, while the company effectively protects its data and resources.  

It is advisable to set clear guidelines for private use in the CYOD usage agreement and to ensure that employees are informed about the responsibilities and consequences of private use of their devices. 

Conclusion: CYOD, a viable choice for a flexible and secure IT strategy 

Implementing a CYOD (Choose Your Own Device) program offers organizations a balanced approach between IT control and user flexibility.  

However, a CYOD strategy without reliable mobile device management and a clear usage agreement is incomplete and therefore not recommended. Only with MDM can data security and legal security be maintained in equal measure.  

Overall, CYOD offers a future-proof, flexible and efficient IT strategy that meets both employee and business needs, if it is supported by the right management tools and agreements.