New iPad Poses IT Management Challenges in the BYOD Era

By Cameron Sturdevant  |  Posted 2012-04-06 Print this article Print

Review: The new iPad comes equipped with a Retina display, optional Verizon 4G LTE hotspot capability, enhanced 5-megapixel iSight camera, iOS 5.0 and iCloud connectivity that raise the stakes for IT managers attempting to square user choice with corporate policy.

For IT managers at organizations large and small, the new iPad comes with new IT management challenges along with the added features.

While the 2,048- by 1,536-pixel resolution Retina display was the most visible enhancement to the newest Apple iPad, the device's underlying iOS 5 operating system, optional iCloud service, and optional hotspot capabilities should be of more interest and strategic concern to IT managers.

Most mobile device management (MDM) vendors announced support for the new iPad and the latest version of Apple's iOS when the device was announced March 7. On March 12, Apple released the latest version of its Apple Configurator utility that uses simple workflows and basic policy profiles to configure up to 30 iPads from a single Mac.

Apple's iOS Configuration Profiles are how MDM tools control iPad accounts, policies and device restrictions. As such, controlling iPad access to the iCloud storage utility is limited to either allowing or disabling iCloud components, including backup, document sync and Photo Stream.

For the new iPad, which often shows up at work as part of a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) initiative, these policies will likely be a sore point. Tests at eWEEK Labs in Foster City, Calif., showed that this "on" or "off" approach is likely the most feasible way to control iCloud on the new iPad so that IT managers can ensure that sensitive corporate data isn't accidentally shuttled off to the cloud.

The new iPad with WiFi started shipping Friday, March 16, and costs $499 for the 16GB model, $599 for the 32GB model and $699 for 64GB model. The iPad with WiFi and 4G from either AT&T or Verizon costs $629 for the 16GB model, $729 for the 32GB model and $829 for the 64GB model. I tested the 64GB iPad with WiFi and 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) service from Verizon.

With the obvious exception of the Retina display, the new iPad looks almost exactly the same as the two previous generations of Apple's tablet. The biggest differences between the previous generation and the new iPad are inside the device. The new dual-core Apple A5X processor, the iSight 5 megapixel camera and the 4G hotspot capability (when using the optional Verizon cellular service) are all improvements that will entice personal and business users. In fact, all these changes enhance the iPad as a platform for business use. I was easily able to use the iPad as a hotspot throughout the Bay Area, even while crossing the San Mateo Bridge.

Cameron Sturdevant Cameron Sturdevant is the executive editor of Enterprise Networking Planet. Prior to ENP, Cameron was technical analyst at PCWeek Labs, starting in 1997. Cameron finished up as the eWEEK Labs Technical Director in 2012. Before his extensive labs tenure Cameron paid his IT dues working in technical support and sales engineering at a software publishing firm . Cameron also spent two years with a database development firm, integrating applications with mainframe legacy programs. Cameron's areas of expertise include virtual and physical IT infrastructure, cloud computing, enterprise networking and mobility. In addition to reviews, Cameron has covered monolithic enterprise management systems throughout their lifecycles, providing the eWEEK reader with all-important history and context. Cameron takes special care in cultivating his IT manager contacts, to ensure that his analysis is grounded in real-world concern. Follow Cameron on Twitter at csturdevant, or reach him by email at

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