If you are involved with mobile device management within a company, then there is a good chance you have come across the acronym COPE before. 

COPE stands for Corporate-Owned, Personally Enabled. The term usually relates to smartphones but can also include devices like laptops or tablets. A COPE device can be any mobile device that is purchased and managed by a company for its employees. The device will be company property but will also contain the personal data of the employee.

Note that using the BYOD (bring your own devices) method differs from the Cope method because in this case the mobile devices belong to the company

COPE devices usually have a partition between the personal data and data work sectors of the device. This helps to keep data separate and secure

COPE systems have a range of benefits for companies and are very popular with larger organizations that are concerned about security of there files. However, it must also be said that using the COPE method also has some operating drawbacks, so it may not be the best solution for everyone.

Is a COPE system the best way for your company to manage its mobile devices?If you're struggling to find a way to ensure data security for all of your employees' devices, it's time to consider to use COPE. In this article, we'll give you a definition of what exactly COPE means. 

We’ll also review the advantages and disadvantages of COPE systems. By the end, you should have a clear picture of how to find the right COPE mobile device policy for your company. If you are curious about COPE, you can find answers to your questions here. 

What is COPE (Corporate Owned, Personally Enabled)?

COPE stands for Corporate Owned, Personally Enabled and it refers to a business model whereby a company will provide devices for its employees to use for both personal and corporate purposes. 

There are many reasons why a business might choose a COPE system. COPE can be cost-effective as a business may receive a bulk deal on a range of devices from a supplier. A COPE model provides a good level of data storage security as the company can choose exactly what devices are used and roll out a uniform mobile device management (MDM) solution

COPE models are often compared to the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) model. BYOD allows employees to use their own personal devices for corporate purposes. Whereas COPE models entail the company supplying the devices. Although BYOD models can be cheaper to set up in the short term, they may have higher ongoing operating costs and are also more prone to data storage security issues than COPE system. 

How does COPE work in the real world?

In a COPE model, all the mobile devices are supplied, owned, and achived by the company. Usually, the control and security aspects are achieved via an app, known as mobile device management (MDM). MDM solutions are advantageous in conjunction with COPE models since there is a uniformity of device and operating systems across the board. 

This allows for greater device data storage security and more separation of personal and corporate data. This can be achieved via Mobile Application Management (MAM) tools that enable secure containers with multiple password protection capabilities. 

What devices are supported by COPE?

The nature of the COPE system is that the company itself decides what types of devices to provide employees with and which to authorize for use. In general, COPE devices are:

  • Laptops
  • Smartphones
  • Tablets
  • Rugged devices

Many businesses choose to use Android COPE devices because they are cost-effective and their employees may already be familiar with how they function. Other companies choose to use iOS COPE devices, which may involve higher costs initially but also provide better levels of data security and can be better integrated if a company is already using Apple environments. 

The advantages and disadvantages of COPE 

COPE models offer many benefits. COPE saves a company's employees money since they don't have to provide their own devices, and they can safely use a COPE device for personal and business purposes. A COPE model can also be used to improve morale and build a strong corporate identity.

COPE models have better data storage security features than BYOD models because the devices are uniform. This means it's quick to onboard new employees, new records and easier to deploy MDM solutions.

However, there are drawbacks to COPE systems. 

There is an additional upfront cost compared to BYOD. There can also be issues with data segregation and device misuse. Lost or stolen phones can also cause security breaches for the company. Applying updates and support can be a problem. 

Depending on their preferred device, some companies may have an additional cost associated with MDM deployment. Finally, staff may prefer to use their personal tools.

How to find the best COPE mobile strategy

A COPE system may be the ideal solution for your business. However, you will need to consider what your security needs are and what types of devices will best meet those needs. Are these devices the most cost-effective option to work with? Can they be easily upgraded? 

How much time do you have to deploy a COPE system? Will employees need additional training to use the devices properly? What happens if an employee loses a device? What happens if an employee leaves the company and does not return the device? 

If you're going to deploy a COPE model for your business, you'll need MDM solutions that can ensure data storage security and optimal functionality of your devices. With the right MDM system, you provide your staff with an efficient, effective and modern COPE device model that can be adapted to your company's changing needs. 

Your IT administrators will need to decide whether they need a cloud-based or on-premises MDM system. Testing of your COPE MDM system will need to take place before final deployment. 

Appaloosa can provide you with MDM solutions suitable for COPE networks of any size. Appaloosa's MDM and MAM programs allow you to protect devices, secure applications, remotely wipe corporate data, and more. If you are considering a COPE system, talk to the MDM experts at Appaloosa.

Julien Ott
September 2, 2022

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