Mobile Device Management: Is a Bring-Your-Own-Device Policy Right for You? 

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Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies allow employees to use their own personal devices for work purposes, but is this approach to mobile device management the smartest strategy for your organization?

When it comes to corporate mobile devices, a BYOD policy is the ultimate in flexibility, especially for distributed workforces seeking the convenience of using their own familiar device. The vision of BYOD was promising, but the reality is more risky. But managing all those BYOD devices is challenging for the corporate IT department because of company security requirements, application control, and the complexity of managing a variety of device types. As a result, companies are switching their mobility strategy, turning to a corporate-ownership model to gain tighter control and reduce complexity. Corporate-ownership policies, also called corporate-liable policies, require employees to use corporate-issued devices for work.  

Research by Vanson Bourne commissioned by Tangoe shows more than four in five IT decision makers intend to change their current ownership model, indicating a clear trend in businesses reassessing their mobile device strategies. While there are benefits to either corporate-liable devices or BYOD policies, businesses need to determine which approach most effectively manages data security.  

Security can be more challenging with a BYOD model, especially when, on average, two-thirds of all devices used to access company information are personally owned. Consider that 75% of companies experienced a “major” mobile-related security compromise in 2022, according to Verizon’s Mobile Security Index research.  

Learn how businesses manage their bring-your-own-device (BYOD), why you should consider alternatives to BYOD policies, and what benefits businesses receive from a comprehensive managed mobility services (MMS) solution like Tangoe One Mobile for mobile device management. 

What are the Challenges of Using BYOD Policies? 

BYOD policies are most commonly used for mobile phones, though they can cover personal computers, laptops, point of service devices, and other device types. BYOD policies allow employees to use personal devices for work purposes, making it easier to work from anywhere. Additionally, companies don’t have to pay for these devices. That may sound like a preferred ownership model, but your BYOD strategy could be costing you more than you think. Many businesses are looking for alternatives that reduce risk by providing greater data security, information tracking and efficiency. Here are some of the key risks & challenges businesses experience with BYOD policies

Limited Visibility and Control for Data Security Purposes 

Managing and tracking devices and the data flowing across them is more difficult when your organization doesn’t own them. Enforcing corporate policies is more difficult, especially when it comes to software and usage restrictions. Uneven and inconsistent security settings add risk to the organization.   

Concerns about security and breaches, including unauthorized access to or sharing of company data, are big worries for company leaders and IT executives when it comes to BYOD policies, according to the Vanson Bourne report. There are several types of security risks created with BYOD. 

Shadow IT Risks 

Shadow IT, which is the use of IT-related software or devices without explicit corporate approval, is more difficult to manage when you have a large number of employee-owned devices in use. Employees can self-manage many aspects of their devices, including apps or software otherwise blocked by organizational security protocols. Use of unauthorized software on devices with sensitive data creates risk.    

This lack of control extends to the physical devices themselves. Organizations have less say over what devices employees use, which creates compatibility issues and complicates device support. Physical security is also a challenge: With employees more likely to use their devices outside devices work, there’s a greater risk of lost or stolen devices. 

Compliance Issues and Policy Enforcement 

BYOD devices create compliance issues because it’s harder to ensure that employees are following organizational policies around data privacy, security and usage. Enforcing compliance through security software or other tools can be a challenge, either because employees resist or because of incompatibility with certain device types. Employees might also lack training or documentation on how to use personal devices while following security and compliance requirements.  

Help Desk Challenges 

Managing BYOD devices creates additional challenges for IT helpdesk teams. They’re tasked with tracking devices, providing support and installing upgrades across a myriad device types, operating systems and models. Organizations with BYOD policies don’t have a consistent device fleet, meaning IT staff must spend additional time on support issues instead of other important work. 

Why are Businesses Moving to Corporate-Owned Models for Mobile Device Management? 

Organizations need scalable solutions that reduce security risks, create IT operational efficiencies and provide a return on investment (ROI), leading to an overall smarter approach to their mobile device management. This is leading businesses to consider corporate-owned device models, where the business purchases phones and issues them to their users. This approach is also referred to as corporate-liable models, and it can deliver greater control over mobile devices, establish uniform security practices and minimize the complexity of device updates. In short, a corporate-owned model simplifies device management for IT teams, reducing security risks. Thus, mobility device management teams can focus on a standardized set of devices and operating systems that are centrally managed and more tightly controlled. 

Learn more about securing mobile devices using Unified Endpoint Management solutions and services.

What are the Benefits of Managing Corporate Devices with Managed Mobility Services (MMS)? 

Managed Mobility Services (MMS) help organizations transition to a corporate-owned approach. With MMS, companies offload the complex and time-consuming tasks associated with mobile device management to a third-party provider, who administers devices across the lifecycle. This frees internal IT resources for other work.  

Corporate-liable policies allow for greater control over data and security. However, managing these devices can still be a challenge. This is where a solution like Tangoe One Mobile, our Managed Mobility Service (MMS) comes in. Not only does it help companies overcome security challenges, it also streamlines management processes and improves productivity. 

Learn more about the benefits of Tangoe’s Managed Mobility Services (MMS) in our guide

Increased Productivity and Operational Efficiency 

One of the most significant benefits of shifting to a corporate-owned model and partnering with an MMS provider like Tangoe is the improvements in IT productivity and operational efficiency. In the shift from a BYOD policy, internal IT teams don’t have to dedicate the time or resources to suddenly administer and deploy hundreds of corporate devices.  

MMS providers have the expertise and experience to manage a wide variety of devices at scale efficiently and effectively. For example, they can streamline device procurement and configuration, issue and ship devices, automate software updates and security patches and troubleshoot issues quickly, making certified repairs to keep the fleet fully operational. By having an MMS solution in place, organizations optimize and automate their device management processes and workflows. 

All-in-One Solution: Services Across the Device Lifecycle 

A major benefit of an effective MMS provider is the all-in-one solution it provides for managing the entire lifespan of corporate devices: sourcing, procurement, deployment, management, security and end-of-life management – whether it’s wiping devices and reassigning them to new employees, making repairs and reinstating them, or decommissioning and recycling devices. 

Businesses benefit from a comprehensive approach to device management that’s designed to reduce complexity and increase efficiency. This approach ensures that all aspects of device administration are integrated and working together effectively, resulting in improved productivity, reduced costs and increased satisfaction for end users and IT teams. 

IT Help Desk Support 

MMS provides speedy and reliable IT helpdesk support to employees, which also reduces the burden on internal IT. MMS can provide 24/7 support, allowing users to receive assistance outside regular business hours and via many languages. This can be especially valuable for global companies with remote employees or a distributed workforce spread across time zones and multiple continents.  

As organizations grow and evolve, they can struggle to manage an increasingly large fleet of mobile devices. MMS handles this challenge, which saves organizations from adding internal IT department staff as their fleet grows larger. This scalability means that companies can continue to add devices and users without having to worry about the administrative burden of managing them. 


As organizations grow and evolve, they can struggle to manage an increasingly large fleet of mobile devices. MMS handles this challenge, which saves organizations from adding internal IT department staff as their fleet grows larger. This scalability means that companies can continue to add devices and users without having to worry about the administrative burden of managing them.

Improved Data Security and Compliance 

MMS reduces data security risks by providing security software and by consistently enforcing policies across devices. MMS providers also create greater visibility into corporate device status, location, and usage – and thanks to integration they can see status information in real time. 

Many industries operate under data protection laws and regulations, and noncompliance can result in severe financial and reputational penalties. An MMS solution paired with unified endpoint management software and services help businesses meet regulatory requirements and respond to any new developments over time. Incorporating unified endpoint management enhances security and compliance by standardizing the security approach for all endpoints — smartphones, tablets, desktops, laptops and IoT devices —  so security policies are applied uniformly and comprehensively. 

Improved ROI and Greater Cost Savings 

The vast majority of organizations using MMS report that they are satisfied with their solution and enjoy a positive return on investment and better security. MMS improves uptime and productivity while reducing cost and wasted spend. The projected IT cost savings from outsourcing MMS is 43% on average, according to our research, which equates to millions of dollars for larger companies. 

Productivity and reduced waste aren’t the only benefits. Because MMS provides businesses with greater visibility into device usage and expenses, they can help reduce the costs of mobile services contracts, saving money on the telecom or applications companies pay for annually. 

Which Mobility Strategy Is Best for Your Company? 

If you’re one of the many businesses that needs strong data security and compliance, take a look at the alternatives to BYOD models. BYOD policies are flexible and sometimes more cost-effective in the short term, however, companies need to weigh those short-term cost savings against the long-term risks to security and compliance that are associated with personal devices at work. It’s also important to consider the IT support costs associated with administering a fleet of personal and corporate devices across the lifespan and managing the security status of each device. 

Corporate-owned models offer greater control and standardization, which streamlines device management and security while reducing the workload for IT. Using a corporate-owned approach through an MMS solution also offers greater efficiencies and scalability for organizations.   

Regardless of whether you choose a BYOD model or a corporate-owned approach, you can achieve a greater ROI and simplify the device management process with an effective MMS solution like Tangoe One Mobile. 

How Does Tangoe Provide Greater Value for MMS? 

When deciding whether BYOD or corporate-owned is right for your business, choose an established provider who can simplify and optimize your device strategy. Tangoe is an industry leader with more than 14 million devices under management, award winning service, and more than 65 patents innovating Tangoe’s IT asset and expense management processes. We deliver unparalleled experience and expertise that’s dedicated to helping you get the most out of your devices, telecom services, and IT resources. Learn more about the Tangoe Difference

Tangoe One provides a comprehensive platform to simplify, manage and optimize assets and expenses across the IT environment, addressing not only mobile devices, but also telecom expense management (TEM), and cloud expense management (CEM) including infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and software-as-a-service (SaaS). This means businesses have one platform for managing all their technology expenses and mobile assets. With Tangoe One, organizations can optimize the cost of their IT services and reduce spending while simultaneously providing help desk support with end-to-end management across the lifespan of every device.  

Learn how a Fortune 50 consumer goods manufacturer leveraged Tangoe’s managed mobility services to smoothly and efficiently control more than 50 mobility programs across dozens of countries and languages.