Last night, a record 50 million households tuned in to watch the Baltimore Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII.  The debate over whether the difference was made by coaching, talent or overall preparedness will likely continue during the offseason. However, one distinct advantage the Ravens had was the iPad. 

Now, you may be asking yourself, how did the popular tablet help a team win the Super Bowl? Simply put, it was easier to study. Baltimore was the first team in the National Football League to use iPads and a series of mobile applications to replace the 20-pound playbook that team members are use to carrying.

The changeover started in 2011, and this year, according to The Wall Street Journal, nearly half of the 32 teams in the NFL are using tablets and digital playbooks. Custom apps allow coaches to update them remotely with new plays and video clips, and make collaboration easier. Players and staff can seamlessly share notes, drawings,and other information.

Phil Taylor, a senior writer for Sports Illustrated, was interviewed by mobile device website Tab Times and expressed his surprise that so few teams had adopted the technology.

“It’s really hard to believe, maybe that’s why those teams aren’t in the playoffs,” said Taylor. “It would seem to be a great competitive advantage to be able to use iPads. I can remember teams having to distribute new pages every time there was a change to the playbook. Now they can easily add, subtract and modify plays very quickly and show all those video clips.”

It is easy to see how an iPad deployment benefited the Baltimore Ravens, and this strategy can be adapted to the business world as well. Mobile applications and iOS devices can streamline a number of processes and by partnering with a company experienced in Mac integration, they can ensure a successful implementation.