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CYOD? What is it, and should VARs offer it?

October 13, 2017

CYOD? What is it, and should VARs offer it?

 

It’s no secret that the way technology is used in the workplace has changed rapidly over the last decade, with technological innovations like mobile computing, ubiquitous high-speed Wi-Fi Internet access, and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology fundamentally changing how people conduct business. When once using technology at work meant driving into the office and sitting in front of a desktop computer, that’s now not always the case. Mobile devices allow employees, management, and the C-suite alike to work on the go, work from home, and even conduct international business without so much as leaving the living room.

New modes of workplace organization built around new technological solutions have meant a proliferation of trends in how to manage the computers and mobile devices that enterprises use every day. If you’ve heard the term CYOD thrown around and are wondering what the acronym means and if it’s something security value-added resellers (VARs) should pursue as a sales opportunity, look no further.

CYOD: The New Face of the Mobile Workforce?

CYOD is an acronym for Choose Your Own Device, a paradigm for workplace device management in which a business offers employees a selection of company-owned devices from which they can choose and use as dedicated work devices.

The potential upsides of the CYOD model for enterprises are numerous. CYOD does the following:

  • Allows workers to commute and work remotely while letting IT staff manage security updates, network preferences, and other options necessary to maintaining a security enterprise.
  • Allows internal IT to assure consistent, standardized device performance while still giving employees the freedom to work remotely.
  • Allows employees to select the right tools for the right jobs (e.g., a smartphone or tablet for simple e-mail-answering during international travel, a larger laptop for high-demand work that will be done mostly at home).

The big advantage to CYOD is that the model enables an enterprise to offer its workers flexibility while maintaining the type of control vital to a cyber-secure enterprise.

What Does CYOD Mean for VARs?

CYOD offers the opportunity to sell a multifaceted array of hardware. Laptops, mobile devices, tablets, cloud storage solutions, and cloud infrastructure for mobile access and storage are solutions that an enterprise might make use of when working on a CYOD model. 

There is a similarly large array of security solutions that an enterprise will need in order to keep its network secure when allowing workers to choose their own devices. Anti-malware and anti-virus solutions for both individual devices and the networks to which they connect are a necessity. Any enterprise interested in CYOD will also need a secure virtual private network (VPN) setup and a suite of tools that can handle the task of permission management for multiple types of devices.

If an enterprise is in the market for managed IT, any number of services pertaining to the ongoing management of the devices coming in and out of an enterprise and their maintenance and support is another potential opportunity for VARs.

So Should I Sell CYOD to an Enterprise?

With the new model catching on, there is plenty of space for VARs to play in. But as with any office technology, it’s a matter of selling the right solution to the right enterprise.

Some enterprises may find buying multiple devices for use by employees to be cost-prohibitive. Having well-informed conversations about what hardware and security solutions will be implemented, how they will be used, and how they will be maintained is the best way to determine if CYOD is right for a client.

What CYOD setups have you seen succeed in different enterprises?