Smart Devices for Construction: Fleet, COPE, or BYOD?
Start with a Mobile Strategy
You have a decision to make whether to invest your own capital and purchase or lease a fleet of hardware/software device and apps, simply allow employees to bring their own smart devices – or perhaps a modified solution?
It basically comes down to a decision between security and complexity.
Option 1: Fleet Devices
If financial outlay is not an issue, but security, compliance, and confidentiality are paramount, the answer may be Fleet devices. This model consists of a company-owned, company-configured, company-only communications device. This solution produces the highest amount of security as there are no personal activities or information (other than company profile). Total costs are absorbed by the company including hardware, software, maintenance, and training.
Option 2: Company Owned, Personally Enabled (COPE)
A compromise to the Fleet Policy would be to consider Company Owned, Personally Enabled (COPE) strategy. In a COPE environment, the company “owns” connectivity to their network (and the right to DISCONNECT), but may allow employees to download certain apps within reason. The company policy may also determine usage and costs, allowing employees to financially support extra storage and app costs. The downside to this policy is that it still poses the cumbersome burden of employees needing to manage both a business and personal device.
Option 3: Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
Let’s consider the third option – Bring Your Own Device. With a BYOD policy, there is no cash outlay or commitment. There’s no training or support, and no obligation towards maintenance or loss.
But, according to a Smart Market Report from McGrawHill Construction, there are inherent risks:
“The key concerns with a BYOD policy are security and confidentiality…Potential problems include allowing information to go from business to personal, such as placing a rendering or animation on a social platform without regard to copyright or the client’s wishes; accidentally sending a message from a personal rather than a business address; someone leaving the firm abruptly and downloading critical, confidential information; or loss/theft of the mobile device.”
The article continues on, saying that the risks are generally exaggerated, and the solutions are managerial – from comprehensive training to software apps that reduce risk (like find my iPhone and apps that wipe confidential data).
But buy-in from IT may be slow in coming, with the infinite variety of networks and platforms, hardware and software that they must connect to, support, and troubleshoot.