Sometimes it’s okay to say no to BYOD and have two phones (for users or IT!)

For all the progress in EMM software and mobile operating systems, sometimes combining the conflicting worlds of work and personal on one device just doesn’t make sense.

Years ago, I was idealistic. If I saw somebody carrying two phones—one for work and one for their own personal usage—I would have thought that their company was doing something wrong. Didn’t they know about all the emerging mobile app management technologies (as of 2012!) which could let work and personal stuff securely live side by side on a single device?

Today, I still see plenty of people with two phones, both here in the Bay Area and everywhere else. (The main difference is that in the past, the corporate phone would likely be a BlackBerry, but nowadays they’re all iOS or Android.)

After seven years of covering enterprise mobility, I’ve become more jaded, but more importantly, I’m also realistic about the challenges that we still face when bringing work and personal mobility together.

So now, I believe it’s perfectly fine—and indeed, sometimes completely necessary—to have two phones. There are plenty of reasons why, including:

  • Privacy
  • Data loss prevention
  • Super tight, totally locked-down security policies
  • Two phone numbers
  • The ability to unplug from work on weekends and vacations
  • Carrier data plans and billing
  • Enterprise-grade hardware, rugged devices, OS update controls, and support
  • Using one app for both work and personal
  • Avoiding myriad liability issues, as well as avoiding writing BYOD and COPE policies

Some of these things differ based on the mobile platform or EMM techniques you’re using. (See our recent pieces on Android BYOD and iOS BYOD for discussion.)

But overall, having two phones is still the simplest, most foolproof, and most robust way to address many issues. And in plenty of cases, it’s the only option!

So to that end, a case that holds two phones might just be a key part of your BYOD plans, and luckily for us, they exist!

BYOD two phones case

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