COPE, CoIT, BYOD – Do You Know the Difference?

First things first: We’re tickled here at Vitalyst after’s Tom Kaneshige covered our study in a recent article. Titled “iPads, iPhones Hit Help Desks Hard,” the article looks at how help desks lack the resources to support the growing number of consumer gadgets in the workplace.

In the piece Kaneshige points to some our our study’s key findings:

  • More than 65 percent of companies surveyed reported no increase in support resources, despite nearly 70 percent experiencing a significant increase in demand for the help desk.
  • More than 40 percent of respondents reported that their companies allow employees to bring their own devices.

(See infographic for more findings.)

Click graphic to zoom.

Now, about those acronyms… We seem to be awash in them today – so much so you’d think there wasn’t room left for any more. Wrong. Add another to the consumer device pile: COPE, which stands for “corporate-owned, personally enabled.”

In a recent article, David F. Carr of InformationWeek describes COPE as “embracing the empowerment of the user associated with the consumerization, but without giving up the control the corporation needs for security and compliance.”

In other words, giving employees the latest devices to distract them from the fact that IT still has total control (over the gadgets, not the workers).

(In contrast, BYOD, or “bring your own device,” lets workers use their own must-have devices, provided they agree to implement security features like allowing remote wipe.)

According to InformationWeek’s Carr, one of the problems with BYOD, and perhaps a catalyst for the creation of the new acronym, is that, in some European countries, wiping someone’s personal data from a device is against the law. Another issue is the cloud: What good is a remote wipe if a fired employee simply restores a backup copy?

Expect to read much more about COPE in the coming year.

And here’s a quick acronym refresher, in case you got lost:

COPE: Corporate-owned, personally enabled. A company buys devices but allows employees to keep personal data on them. For a full explanation, read Philippe Winthrop’s piece here. Winthrop is the founder and director of the Enterprise Mobility Foundation.

BYOD: Bring your own device. Refers to employees taking their own personal device to work, whether laptop, smartphone or tablet, in order to connect to the corporate network. According to a 2011 Unisys/IDC study, nearly 41 percent of the devices used to obtain corporate data are owned by the employee.

CoIT: Consumerization of IT. The adoption of electronic devices by consumers first and IT second. It used to be the other way around. For example, computers were the domain of IT professionals from the 1950s to late 1970s, at which time they became personal and ubiquitous. Starting in the 2000s, employee-owned laptops began connecting to company networks, followed by employee smartphones and tablets, all of which led the IT department to integrate the devices and provide management and technical support.

(BYOD and CoIT definitions courtesy PCMag’s tech term encyclopedia.)

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