Cope could be the future of mobility, says BBC technology chief

A corporate-owned, personally enabled (Cope) implementation could be the best option for mobility plans in the future

A corporate-owned, personally enabled (Cope) implementation, whereby an organisation provides employees with a mobile device, could be the best option for mobility plans in the future, according to the BBC’s head of technology.

Speaking at Enterprise Mobility World, Matt Groshong, head of technology at the BBC, explained that using two phones is not efficient.

According to Groshong, enterprises should give employees a choice, offering either a corporate SIM in a personal device or a corporate device with containerisation. 

Organisations need to ensure users adopt new technologies once they have been put in place, he said, so internal marketing and guidance should be used to encourage adoption.

“The capability that you’re giving your enterprise IT community – your users – has a different meaning for you, as the enterprise IT department, than it does for the user,” said Groshong.

“Users don’t naturally progress to use something which completely and fundamentally changes how they do a particular task,” he added.

The BBC has offices across the UK and employees around the globe, which means mobility management is very important. But complexities introduced by the Freedom of Information Act and a diverse workforce where everyone requires different things make it difficult to implement a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy.

“We are very conscious of how we do things and ensure that we adhere to the processes that exist, but that tends to stifle innovation,” said Groshong.

With the workforce getting younger, the BBC hopes to use mobility to allow flexible working to respond to the changing requirements of users. The firm uses Microsoft Lync to promote flexibility and collaboration.  

Android users who want to bring their own device to the BBC can do so if they use Good Technology. The same applies to senior executives who have access to sensitive data.

But the BYOD policy at the BBC is still evolving. Groshong said an iterative process of small introductions helps develop a more comprehensive idea of what employees need.

“You start to build up a real understanding of what it is people are going to ask for and what they expect to do with their device,” he said.

The BBC’s public-facing mobile apps are developed by an in-house team to ensure they reflect the corporation’s image. Groshong said these applications are becoming increasingly important as user habits change.

“The idea of outsourcing something as important to the BBC as iPlayer is not something we would go for now,” he said.

Earlier this year, the BBC launched a redesigned version of its iPlayer platform after improving the way users navigate the website to find shows and discover new content.

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