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Mobile device strategy
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Which mobile device strategy is right for your company

With the increase in hybrid working, the need for mobile devices is growing so that employees can also work productively from home. Companies need a suitable mobile device strategy for this in order to provide all devices easily and integrate them securely into the existing infrastructure. When it comes to identifying the right strategy, you are quickly confronted with terms such as BYOD, CYOD, COPE and COBO. What is behind these abbreviations? And which strategy suits which company?

What do the terms mean?

Each of the abbreviations stands for a different approach to providing mobile devices such as laptops, smartphones or tablets for employees. The differences relate to questions of ownership and responsibilities for the devices.

The abbreviations themselves are quickly explained:

  • BYOD - Bring your own device
  • CYOD - Choose your own device
  • COPE - Corporate Owned / Personally Enabled
  • COBO - Corporate Owned / Business Only

However, the respective approaches differ in terms of 3 elements and associated questions:

  • The mobile device
    • Which one is it?
    • Who procures it?
    • Who pays for the device or the mobile phone contract
  • Management and maintenance
    • Who manages the configuration of the device?
    • Who takes care of repairs, maintenance and updates?
  • Integration
    • How extensively is the device integrated into the company structures?

What does Bring your own device (BYOD) mean?

Bring your own device is probably the best-known concept. With this approach, employees use their own mobile devices and access the company network via them. As this is their own technology, employees also take care of the functioning of the devices themselves.

At first glance, this approach looks attractive for both companies and employees and offers a number of advantages.
  • As you are usually very familiar with the functions and operation of your own mobile device, your efficiency at work also increases.
  • The ability to use your own devices, such as your personal smartphone, for work often leads to greater employee satisfaction and a positive perception of the company as a modern employer.
  • Companies save time when evaluating and procuring mobile devices.
  • Companies reduce the time and cost of repairing defective devices.
At second glance, however, you also recognize some challenges.


  • The large number of different devices also increases the security risk and the number of potential security vulnerabilities.
  • Appropriate regulations and technical measures are required to ensure that private and professional data are strictly separated in accordance with data protection requirements.
  • The use of private applications for professional purposes (and vice versa) can lead to licensing problems.
  • Compatibility problems can arise when integrating the numerous devices into the company's IT structure.

What does Choose your own device (CYOD) mean?

Choose your own device is an attempt to utilize the advantages of the BYOD approach without the associated disadvantages. The company provides employees with a list of possible devices. Employees choose a device from this list themselves. This reduces the number of different device models, thereby reducing potential compatibility problems and simplifying integration.

Use for private purposes is usually permitted. At the same time, the company is responsible for the functioning of the device.


  • As private devices are no longer used for work purposes, the security risk when accessing the company network is potentially reduced.
  • Companies themselves determine which devices can be selected. This simplifies IT administration when it comes to integration and maintenance.
  • CYOD can serve as an incentive for employees by allowing them to choose a suitable device themselves.
  • As the devices can also be used privately, employees tend to take more care of the devices provided to them.
  • Private use tends to make employees more confident in using the devices and consequently more productive.


  • This choice means that the number of different device types remains large, which leads to a higher demand for IT resources for support.
  • If private use is permitted, a technical option is also required to keep private and business data strictly separate.

What does Corporate Owned, Personally Enabled (COPE) mean?

A more restrictive approach compared to CYOD is behind COPE. In this model, the company provides employees with a mobile device. The focus of use is on professional purposes, even if private use of smartphones, tablets or laptops is permitted. The emphasis in the COPE model is clearly on the company. Accordingly, it is not only the owner and therefore responsible for procurement and payment, but also for managing and processing repairs.


  • The company determines which devices are provided. If only a few models are provided in large numbers, simple and cost-effective procurement is possible.
  • The small number of device models significantly simplifies integration and management.
  • As the devices can also be used privately, employees tend to take more care of the devices provided to them.
  • Private use tends to make employees more confident in using the devices and consequently more productive.
  • Providing high-quality premium devices also has positive effects on employer branding and perception as an employer


  • As in all cases where devices are used simultaneously for private and professional purposes, private and professional data must also be strictly separated in the COPE model, which entails greater organizational and technical effort.
  • The possibility of private use also increases the security risks. The effort required for protection, administration and monitoring increases accordingly

What does Corporate Owned, Business Only (COBO) mean?


  • The company has complete control over the devices and the applications used and can therefore guarantee the greatest possible security.
  • As with the COPE model, the significantly simpler procurement, administration and support are also important advantages for the company in this model.


  • As employees cannot also use the devices for private purposes, but only for company use, there is a tendency towards less careful use of the technology.
  • At the same time, the risk of losing devices increases if colleagues always have to carry two devices with them. Accordingly, solutions are needed to secure data in the event of loss or theft.

Which strategy is suitable for which company?

When looking for a suitable strategy, you should first clarify your own requirements. Are employee satisfaction and maximum productivity the main focus? Or are data security and data protection the decisive factors? The advantages and disadvantages must then be weighed up individually for your own company.

Operating system providers (above all Apple and Android) have now laid the foundations for the secure integration of mobile devices. However, mobile device management solutions in particular provide companies with a powerful tool with which the majority of modern devices can be securely integrated into the IT infrastructure and security settings can be adjusted and managed with just a few clicks. The separation of private and professional data, which is necessary for data protection reasons, is also easily possible with an MDM solution.

Conveniently implement mobile device strategy with Lendis

Lendis is your partner for implementing a suitable mobile strategy in your company. Lendis makes it easy for you to rent high-quality technology such as smartphones, tablets and laptops. With Lendis as a partner of top brands such as Apple and Lenovo, you can get top devices even faster and cheaper.

As part of our Device as a Service program, we also take care of the technical foundations for the secure integration and management of all mobile devices.


Find out more about Device as a Service here.

Our experts will be happy to advise you
on the implementation of your mobile device strategy.