Enterprise Networking: New iPad Takes Big Steps Into Corporate Networks, Complicating BYOD
The new iPad physically resembles the two previous generations of Apple tablets but packs on a dual-core A5X processor, Apple's Retina display and the ability to act as a 4G WiFi hotspot for up to eight devices. With the opening last July of Apple's business app store and the March 12 refresh of the Apple Configurator utility, which enables an IT manager to configure up to 30 iPads or other iOS devices simultaneously, Apple is demonstrating that it can make the consumer-oriented iPad easier to integrate into a corporate environment. In the era of bring your own device (BYOD), this is proving especially useful for IT professionals. However, Apple will have to overcome even more major technical strides to render the new iPad truly enterprise-ready. As with the Google Android, Research In Motion BlackBerry and Microsoft Windows Mobile devices, Apple should explore ways to easily let users switch from "personal" to "corporate" mode on the same device. For example, the iCloud service provided by iOS 5 that ships on the iPad should make it easy to segregate personal and corporate data so that users don't accidentally comingle company documentswith personal files. It would also be good for subsequent versions of iOS on the iPad to enable greater central control over the use of the optional WiFi hotspot capability.