Mobile device strategy
Table of contents

Which mobile device strategy is right for your business?

With the increase in hybrid work, the need for mobile devices is growing so that employees can also work productively in the home office. Companies need a suitable mobile device strategy to provide all devices in an uncomplicated way and to integrate them securely into the existing infrastructure. When trying to identify a suitable strategy, one is quickly confronted with terms such as BYOD, CYOD, COPE and COBO. What is behind these abbreviations? And which strategy fits which company?

What do the terms mean?

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

The abbreviations themselves are quickly clarified at first:

  • 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 related issues:

  • The mobile device
    • Which one is it?
    • Who procures it?
    • Who pays for the device or the mobile phone contract?
  • Administration and maintenance
    • Who manages the configuration of the unit?
    • Who takes care of repairs, maintenance and updates?
  • Integration
    • How extensively will the device be integrated into the corporate 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. Since it is their own technology, the 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 some advantages.
  • As one is usually well acquainted with the functions and operation of one's own mobile device, efficiency at work also increases.
  • The possibility to use one's own devices such as the private smartphone also for work often leads to higher 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 effort and cost of repairing defective equipment.
At second glance, however, one also recognises some challenges.


  • The large number of different devices also increases the security risk and the number of potential security gaps.
  • In order to ensure that private and professional data are strictly separated in accordance with data protection requirements, appropriate regulations and technical measures are needed.
  • The use of private applications for professional purposes (and vice versa) can lead to problems under licensing law.
  • When integrating the numerous devices into the company's IT structure, compatibility problems can arise.

What does Choose your own device (CYOD) mean?

Choose your own device is an attempt to use the advantages of the BYOD approach without its associated disadvantages. The company provides the employees with a list of possible devices. From this list, the employees choose a device themselves. This reduces the number of different device models, thereby reducing possible 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.


  • Since private devices are no longer used for business purposes, the security risk when accessing the company network is potentially reduced.
  • Companies determine themselves which devices can be selected. This simplifies IT administration in questions of integration and maintenance.
  • By offering the possibility to choose a suitable device, CYOD can serve as an incentive for employees.
  • Since the devices can also be used privately, employees tend to pay more attention to the devices provided to them.
  • Private use tends to make employees more confident in using the devices and consequently more productive.


  • Choice means that the number of different device types remains large, leading to a greater need for IT resources for support.
  • If private use is permitted, a technical option is also needed to strictly separate private and business data.

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 weighting in the COPE model is clearly on the side of the company. Accordingly, it is not only the owner and thus responsible for procurement and payment, but also for managing and handling repairs.


  • The company determines which equipment is provided. If only a few models are provided in large numbers, simple & cost-effective procurement is possible.
  • Due to the small number of device models, integration and administration are significantly simplified.
  • Since the devices can also be used privately, employees tend to pay more attention to 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 equipment also has positive effects on employer branding and perception as an employer.


  • As in all cases where devices are used for private and professional purposes at the same time, private and professional data must be strictly separated in the COPE model, which entails greater organisational and technical effort.
  • The possibility of private use also increases the security risks. The effort required for securing, managing 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 thus ensure the greatest possible security.
  • Analogous to the COPE model, the significantly simpler procurement, administration and support are also important advantages on the company side in this model.


  • Since employees cannot also use the devices for private purposes, but only for company purposes, there is a tendency to handle the technology less carefully.
  • At the same time, the risk of losing devices increases when colleagues always have to carry two devices. Accordingly, solutions are needed to secure data in case of loss or theft.

Which strategy is suitable for which company?

When looking for the appropriate strategy, one's own requirements should first be clarified. Are employee satisfaction and the highest possible productivity in the foreground? Or are data security and data protection the decisive factors? Then the advantages and disadvantages must be weighed against each other individually for one's own company.

Operating system providers (above all Apple and Android) have now laid the foundations for secure integration of mobile devices. But with mobile device management solutions in particular, companies today have 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. With Lendis, you can easily rent high-quality technology such as smartphones, tablets and laptops. With Lendis as a partner of top brands like Apple and Lenovo, you get top devices even faster and cheaper.

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


Learn more about Device as a Service here.

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