2014 Will Be the Year of CYOD

Brien Posey, Freelance Writer and Former CIO | 1/7/2014 | 22 comments

Brien Posey
If 2013 was the year of BYOD (bring-your-own-device), then 2014 could easily be the year of CYOD.

CYOD (or choose-your-own-device) is a happy medium between corporate-issued desktops and laptops and users working from any device that they want. The basic idea is that an organization chooses upfront which device types they want to support, and makes those device types available to end users. A user is free to choose from any device offered by the organization. That way, the user has more flexibility than they would have had back in the day when corporate-issued laptops were the norm, but the organization does not have the challenges and security risks that are inherent with supporting any device type that an end user happens to want to use.

This trend is being driven by a variety of factors. One of the main factors is support costs. Although the majority of users in BYOD environments choose to use mainstream devices, there are inevitably some who will choose to use something really obscure. The problem with this is that all too often, the helpdesk staff is asked to support end-user devices that they know absolutely nothing about.

In some cases, end-users might even choose devices that are completely incompatible with the corporate network. For example, I recently heard a story of a user who found a first-generation Sony E-Reader at a garage sale and became upset when the helpdesk staff at her company told her that the device lacks the functionality of a modern tablet. In fact, the user even asked the helpdesk staff to upgrade the device to make it more like an iPad. The user simply did not understand that some devices cannot be upgraded, and even if a device can be upgraded there are limits to what can be done with it. She also did not seem to grasp the idea that this was her personal device, and the organization therefore had no obligation to do a hardware upgrade.

Another reason why 2014 will be the year of CYOD is because some organizations have found it difficult to enforce security and usage policies on employee’s personal devices. Although some organizations require employees to consent to the mandatory use of passwords and other security mechanisms, others have not had any luck enforcing basic device level security. Depending upon how the device accesses corporate resources, the lack of security could result in a major security incident if the device were ever lost or stolen.

Of course, the device might not even need to be lost or stolen to cause accidental data disclosure or data loss. Employees (or others in their family) frequently download apps, play games, or even visit potentially malicious websites from devices that are also used for work. I have lost count of the number of times over the years that I have been asked to recover data that someone’s kid accidentally deleted or remove a malware infection that allegedly resulted from a child’s use of the device.

Sometimes non-work related usage of a device can cause other types of problems. I recently heard of a situation in which an employee accessed corporate resources from a personal device that also contained some potentially objectionable content. Even though the device belonged to the end-user, there was concern that because the employee occasionally used the device while in the office, that the device’s content could potentially result in litigation from someone claiming that the device content constituted a hostile or offensive work environment.

If an organization puts a CYOD program in place, there will undoubtedly be initial costs associated with purchasing devices that can be issued to the employees. However, these upfront costs may eventually be offset by lower support costs. Furthermore, because the organization owns the devices, they are free to impose the security policy of their choosing. This should go a long way towards mitigating fears of accidental data disclosure on a lost or stolen devices. Additionally, the organization will be able to put into place acceptable use policies that prevent employees from storing offensive content on devices.

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batye   2014 Will Be the Year of CYOD   3/1/2014 5:07:13 PM
Re: Supplements?
yes, interesting but things change, as everything is security problem one way or other... better safe than sorry...
soozyg   2014 Will Be the Year of CYOD   2/10/2014 10:52:26 AM
Re: Supplements?
I could totally see BYOD being an IT nightmare. 

One of the main factors is support costs. 

Since the company is mainly paying for the IT specialist's time, I see how these costs could get outrageous.
Susan Nunziata   2014 Will Be the Year of CYOD   1/31/2014 3:07:07 AM
Re: Supplements?
@singlemud: How is the transition to CYOD going at your organization? Are there objections, or are employees being receptive to it?

Also, can you tell us more about why BYOD wasn't working in the first place?
singlemud   2014 Will Be the Year of CYOD   1/26/2014 1:53:35 PM
Re: Supplements?
BYOD in deed brought a lot of trouble and headache to the IT department. We use to have this policy but finally killed it. We are embracing CYOD now.
SunitaT   2014 Will Be the Year of CYOD   1/24/2014 3:07:00 AM
Re: Supplements?
BYOD and CYOD are, in my opinion not supposed to replace each other but rather to act as supplements to each other. In real sense, BYOD can be considered as a subset of CYOD basically due to the fact that you can choose the device that you bring to work. That said, the security challenges when these two elements are coupled together could increase several times over and cause even more headaches for management teams.
SunitaT   2014 Will Be the Year of CYOD   1/24/2014 2:43:40 AM
Re: I thought it meant something else
I actually thought that CYOD was similar to BYOD and that it was simply short for carry your own device. But even though CYOD is going to take root this year (going by the great content on this piece), it is still highly unlikely that it will bring about the end of the BYOD movement. Figures don't lie and the most recent surveys conducted indicate that the BYOD movement is just about to hit the billion device mark. I don't see employees dropping all those devices again anytime soon.
The_Phil   2014 Will Be the Year of CYOD   1/21/2014 8:40:43 PM
Re: I thought it meant something else
I always say, the gift is the technology & the curse is the people that think they know all about it!
nasimson   2014 Will Be the Year of CYOD   1/19/2014 7:12:55 AM
the best deal
I always thought the shiny new laptop given by IT was the best deal an employee could get. But now having gone through CYOD my expectations are raised.

Now I think the best deal would be that I get to choose among the two/three shiny new devices.

But wait, would it not decrease the order quantity per unit & thus slightly increase the procurement costs?

Any thoughts on above?
nasimson   2014 Will Be the Year of CYOD   1/19/2014 7:06:10 AM
Re: I thought it meant something else
@ The_Phil:

> "a highly tech-savvy" workforce can be both a gift & a curse.

Rightly said Phil. GenY needs to be tactfully included in the workplace. Policies, Restrictions, liberty, acceptance all need to be well managed. If it can be, its a gift. If it can not be, its a curse.
The_Phil   2014 Will Be the Year of CYOD   1/16/2014 9:18:34 PM
Re: I thought it meant something else
"a highly tech-savvy" workforce can be both a gift & a curse.
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If 2013 was the year of BYOD (bring-your-own-device), then 2014 could easily be the year of CYOD.
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