Is this the end of the company phone?

Oct 16, 2018 8:58:41 PM Tom Fairbairn


Picture the scene: someone arrives to fix your boiler but there’s an issue and the guy has to contact HQ. To your surprise, he whips out an iPhone 4 – his company phone – and taps an email on its tiny screen.

Waiting for a reply, a different phone starts ringing in his other pocket. He picks it up and talks to his wife, this time on an iPhone X.

Why on earth is he using such an outdated phone for work when he personally has the latest and best in smartphone technology? In fact, why has he got a company phone at all?


picture of old phone


What does the research say?

A recent Oxford Economics study reveals that large organisations spend an average of $704 a year on equipping employees with a phone.

This cost means many staff members don’t end up getting one. For example, Sainsbury’s have 87,000 workers of various kinds in their organisation, but only 37,000 pieces of mobile tech.

Interestingly, research shows that employees treat their company phones worse than their personal devices.

The overall picture is this: company phones are often years behind the market, people often don’t take much care of them, and the entire process is extremely costly. In a sign of this shifting tide, Barclays has just announced it will no longer issue phones to its staff.

Chelsea Apps Factory has been working on a solution in partnership with SyncDog. Founded in 2013, our partners first made their name with a cybersecurity contract for the US government. Using the highest levels of encryption, they have developed wide-ranging mobile software for employee use. The premise behind this is ‘containerisation’.





Sorry, I haven't had my coffee yet. What's containerisation?

Instead of the costly approach of issuing an entire device (on average $704 a year), SyncDog bypasses this entire problem by offering a containerised app.

Think of it as a ‘phone-within-a-phone’.

Opening the app will bring up a screen showing the various apps you will need for work: Phone, Message, Email, Skype etc. These can only be used within the encrypted SyncDog application, which is far more secure than using Outlook on a work phone (don’t forget this is the result of US government research!)

You can’t copy and paste outside the app and can’t access your work email by any other means.

This is a win-win: all the benefits of a company phone with higher levels of encryption, all contained within your favoured device. What’s not to love?

It is increasingly common for companies to have a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy. The technology resulting from our partnership with SyncDog will enhance the appeal of BYOD massively and enable those with this policy to upgrade and enhance their digital infrastructure.


Private letterbox



At CAF we are working on a variety of uses for this technology. The cost-effectiveness of this app means that access can be widened substantially. At the moment, companies only issue phones to certain employees, but using SyncDog there is no reason why every employee can’t use it. There’s huge potential for this in sectors that employ large numbers of clerical workers.

For those who already use a company phone, it will remove hassle and mean you don’t have to use outmoded technology.

If you already have a BYOD policy, SyncDog enhances security and encryption to the highest level, making it the best way of employees working on their own.

It also gets rid of the headache that currently affects those using BYOD. At the moment, if you lose your phone or leave your company, your employer has the right to insist on wiping data off the entire device - including your personal information. Many employees don't want to take this risk, and so use a company phone instead.

Using SyncDog will mean you don't need to fear losing your photos or message history if something like this happens - everything is backed up and secure on the SyncDog app.

Compared to regular BYOD policies, containerised technology will allow you to maintain a better work-life balance, since it fully compartmentalises your work content in one place, making it harder to receive that intrusive drip-feed of 9pm emails.


work-life balance


The really exciting thing now is to incorporate containerised technology into our latest apps - and build it into existing ones as well. Not only can we construct great apps for our clients – we can containerise and secure them as well. In a world of rising cybercrime and with sluggish UK productivity, this new approach makes much more sense than the status quo.

We already look back on outdated technology thinking - why did we ever do it that way? This might be the convoluted system of company cars in the past, or the comical size of early mobile phones. Perhaps containerisation is a technology in this league: the kind we can look back on ten years from now and realise has quietly become part of our lives. 

If you're interested in discussing potential projects and digital innovations, why not call us on 020 3141 9800 or better yet pop into our Southbank office for a cup of coffee!