Even in the absence of its legendary leader, Steve Jobs, Apple has yet again taken the market by storm with the introduction of its iPad 3, released earlier this month. With improved graphics, camera and video capabilities, greater text readability and a dictation function, many will argue that the iPad3 is the best tablet yet.  A recentComputerworld article written by Ryan Faas argues that improved graphics, video and gaming capabilities make the iPad3 a winner. Now, companies in the mobile ecosystem, from mobile gaming companies such as Zynga and Glu to mobile marketing/advertising companies such as Jumptap, can display stunning, interactive graphics, and users will have a field day with the device.

iPad 3

iPad 3

The Computerworld article goes on to suggest that while the iPad3’s consumer appeal is unquestionable, it is also very well suited for businesses. The healthcare industry, for example, can take advantage of the device’s new graphic capabilities as an alternative to medical imaging workstations. Media, design and other creative firms can also take advantage of the retina display and improved graphic performance. And the list goes on. Furthermore, because of its consumer appeal and because every business user is also a consumer, the new iPad will ride the building “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) wave. In other words, the device will inevitably become a widely-used business tool.

While the iPad3 offers new, innovative, functionality and potential business benefits, it also poses challenges to IT departments that must manage how this new device connects to corporate networks. IT administrators who have already been contemplating mobile device management (MDM) strategies to secure their corporate networks will now have an even greater challenge as different devices, equipped with new functionality and capabilities, come to the market.

It is essential that future MDM strategies be scalable, flexible and able to evolve with the mobile market. After all, by the time you’ve ordered your new iPad3 on Amazon.com, another better, faster, smarter tablet is likely already in development (or in the marketplace). Don’t believe it? Rivals to the iPad3 have already shown up. The Asus Transformer Prime, which offers a detachable keyboard, has recently drawn praise from CNET, proof that the mobile market is continuously evolving.

The iPad3 and other tablets can not only delight consumers, they can also positively transform industries, and we are already beginning to see this happen. With innovation, however, there is always a catch. The opportunity for the iPad and other tablets to revolutionize business is clear, but this window of opportunity may close slightly if companies do not invest strategically in MDM now. How companies strategically and intelligently use and manage evolving mobile technology will help dictate which businesses move forward fastest and which will fall behind.

Jessica Boardman a senior consultant at Greenough. She can be reached via email at jboardman@greenough.biz or follow her on twitter @J_Boardman.