Renowned organizational and business consultant Stephen Covey once proclaimed, “If there’s one thing that’s certain in business, it’s uncertainty.” This may seem like an intellectual insight that speaks to the complexities of commerce from one of the world’s foremost authorities on the topic.

The problem is, with all respect to Mr. Covey, it is not always true.

When one considers that 38.8% of the global workforce is currently mobile and that number is expected to reach 42.5% in 2022 (Esposito, 2017), a clear business certainty reveals itself, one that is crystal clear. Companies need to implement an effective and efficient mobile strategy that matches the needs of the organization while maximizing potential benefits.

While a number of mobility strategies exist, COPE — Corporate Owned, Personally Enabled — systems can benefit companies in terms of cost, management, and productivity. With COPE, employees select their devices from options established by the company. This allows for a better work-life balance due to the fact that these corporate-issued devices can be customized to the employee’s liking as well as used as their personal phone.

5 Compelling Reasons to Implement a COPE System:

1. Increased Security Control

94% of IT professionals expect more frequent mobile security attacks in the future, and 79% believe that the difficulty of securing devices is growing (Dimensional Research, 2017).  With COPE, since companies control the device, the likelihood of a security breach is greatly reduced.

2. Operational Efficiency

Devices can be configured and deployed in bulk, and repair and replacement programs can be streamlined. Additionally, since employees are choosing a phone they are comfortable with and using it as their personal device, they are more likely to be familiar with their device and less likely to require assistance from IT departments. With a hybrid program, companies also have the opportunity to ensure compatibility across their systems.

3. Significant Cost Savings

Due to the number of similar devices a company buys, they have the purchasing power to negotiate device discounts and better service rates. Consequently, they retain overall tighter control of costs. Organizational research is revealing the importance of incorporating a shared-service organization and centralizing devices to streamline costs (Bennett, 2016). In fact, many insiders insist that a mobile program like COPE is the necessary initial step to save significant amounts of money.

4. Control Over Corporate Data

In a COPE system, the company retains the right to wipe data from a device, disconnect service, keep the phone number when an employee leaves, and have less exposure to legal and HR issues.  Instances where companies would need to control an employee’s device are often tenuous and not usually pleasant, and retaining the control of the device will work to ensure a swift and desirable resolution.

5. Higher Employee Satisfaction

When employees have the opportunity to select a device, they feel a sense of ownership and control, resulting in greater employee satisfaction. They can customize the device to their liking and utilize it for both personal and business use. By choosing a device they are comfortable with, employee productivity increases as well.

Sure, there are certainly a number of strategies that a company can employ to manage their mobile devices. However, when one considers that a COPE system yields the five benefits listed above that will have significant, positive impacts on an organization’s finances, security, efficiency, and culture, the other options clearly pale in comparison.

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