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Driving Down Total Cost of Ownership: The Ultimate Cost-Effective Mobile Data Protection Strategy

By

Omer Cohen

| November 06, 2023
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In the rapidly evolving landscape of enterprise mobility, ensuring robust security while managing mobile devices and the associated costs has become a crucial challenge. 

Organizations, who build their strategy around company-issued devices, using solutions such as COPE (corporate-owned, personally enabled) have become all too aware that the concept of Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) extends beyond the initial purchase price of a mobile device. It encompasses an array of expenses incurred throughout the device’s lifecycle – from acquisition and deployment to maintenance, support, and eventual decommissioning. 

While Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) solves this initial outlay on the actual device, the management of multiple types of hardware and operating systems brings similar challenges and support costs to organizations who embrace this model. 

Navigating the TCO of Mobile Data Protection

To optimally understand TCO these four key areas need to be understood in terms of their impact on the overall annual cost of implementing an effective MDM solution. 

  • Device Cost

COPE: Solutions where the company pays for the device are obviously the most expensive. They face the upfront purchase cost, eventual replacement costs and all associated management and support costs over the lifetime of devices.

BYOD: While employees use their own devices, the organization may still need to provide subsidies, allowances, or reimbursements for device purchases or upgrades. This cost can vary depending on the organization’s BYOD policy.

PROBLEM: While COPE has a transparent upfront cost, BYOD cost can vary depending on the organization’s policy regarding stipends and reimbursements to employees who purchase their own device. Nonetheless, security professionals need to be aware that the initial costs of purchasing devices should not be the core driver of the decision-making process as support and maintenance costs will tend to have a greater impact on annual TCO. 

 

  • Support and Maintenance Costs

COPE: As these devices are owned by the organization, the onus of their maintenance and monitoring squarely rests on the company’s shoulders. This places the full costs of support on the company. 

BYOD: While organizations can save money implementing a BYOD, they will still need to onboard users, provide technical support and software updates to ensure maintained compatibility with the organization’s IT infrastructure. These support costs can easily equal those involved in the deployment of a COPE strategy.

PROBLEM: Device costs can be seen as the visible portion of an ice-berg (larger for COPE and smaller for BYOD), with the “below the waterline” non-visible support and maintenance costs generally the most expensive portion of MDM policies. 

 

  • Security Measures

COPE: Implementing robust security measures, such as encryption and antivirus software, involves licensing fees and ongoing maintenance costs.

BYOD: As with COPE licensing fees and ongoing costs will be a feature, and need to be factored in for BYOD solutions.

PROBLEM: Implementing a BYOD solution to try and eliminate the initial outlay on devices has one major flaw. When it comes to security, 100% BYOD will never be as safe as 100% Company issued.

 

Finding the Right Balance Between Cost and Security

When an organization needs the most secure option they tend to invest in COPE solutions, even though this is the most expensive due to the investment in devices. BYOD is a cheaper, more flexible option, but will incur equally expensive support and maintenance costs, while compromising on security. 

Organizations, however, that implement a BYOD solution can utilize Symmetrium’s minimum resources approach to radically reduce TCO while optimizing security. Symmetrium achieves this by creating virtual devices that reside within the organization’s own IT environment. When these are remotely accessed they are protected by end-to-end encrypted streaming and therefore act as extensions of all organizational security and compliance policies. As each mobile device acts as an on-prem laptop when connecting with data via Symmetrium, the data is protected from any risks associated with a BYOD device being used to access it. 

The result is organizations can limit the TCO involved in managing BYOD mobile devices while being confident their data remains secure and protected, similar to COPE solutions, regardless of the device being used to access it. 

The cost of maintaining security is minimized because using Symmetrium means data never comes to rest on devices outside of the organization’s IT environment. And because Symmetrium extends the security and compliance protocols of the organization’s network to any device used to access the network via Symmetrium it eliminates the need for encryption and antivirus software.

As Symmetrium is device agnostic, it can operate in both BYOD and COPE environments. The cost of support in these environments can be significantly reduced as troubleshooting and software updates are not as critical as the organizational network is accessed through Symmetrium and compatibility issues are practically eliminated.  

 

The Most Effective Way to Reduce TCO and Eliminate Security Flaws

Symmetrium offers the lowest TCO when it comes to mobile data protection thanks to the vastly reduced impact of support and management costs. It achieves this while delivering the security level associated with company-issued devices with the flexibility and ease of management of BYOD.

This allows for the cost effective and efficient management of multiple devices, regardless of their brand or operating systems, with minimal resource allocation, thanks to a centralized management console. When looking to balance the optimum in mobile security with the minimum TCO, Symmetrium’s VMD provides the perfect solution. 

Discover how easy it is to lower your mobile data protection TCO while optimizing your network security by booking a demo with Symmetrium here.

 

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