CAD Manager's Newsletter (#349)

12 Aug, 2015 By: Robert Green

The Rising Resistance to Cloud-Based CAD, Part 2

CAD managers share their perspectives, including concerns about security risks, control over data, and ongoing costs.

In the first part of this series, I started a discussion about the trend of cloud-based CAD software and data storage that's being driven by major software and IT vendors, along with the cost, security, and licensing concerns that accompany them. (If you haven't had a chance to read that column, you may want to do so now to have proper context for this issue.) I asked for comments in response, and boy did I get them — via e-mail, Facebook, and telephone, as well as posted on the Cadalyst website.

In this second part of the series, I'll share some of the comments I received and delve more deeply into the trends that CAD managers should be aware of when considering how cloud-based processes can affect their CAD ecosystems. Here goes.

Comments on Centralization

Not 15 minutes after the last CAD Manager's Newsletter went live, the comments started flowing in. The most popular subject of commentary was CAD and IT providers' efforts to replace end users' locally installed software and servers with rental software and leased server space. Obviously, cloud CAD software and data storage means that customers would have less control over their CAD ecosystem in this scenario, and that seemed to touch a nerve with many readers. Here are a few edited comments from Cadalyst readers and my CAD Managers Unite! Facebook group, so you can gauge the mood for yourself:

"Not gonna happen. CAD is my tool. I need it when I need it, regardless if my Internet connection is broken. As soon as skilled labor starts using cloud-based hammers and pliers, I'll consider it." — M.M., via Facebook

"For certain things, it makes sense. Like using the almost infinite computing power for rendering, analysis, etc., where even a monster workstation would take 1,000 times longer. But for hosting applications and storing the data that keeps your company in business? I don't see many people jumping on board." — R.K.M., via Facebook

"I know, from our trench, we hate it. The reality is no one needs to access CAD from outside their desk. And the management feels it is the first step to software as a service, and no one likes that payment method." — T.McD., via Facebook

"We will keep our core perpetual licenses. If forced to migrate to a non-perpetual version, we will consider alternative applications. The cloud is not being considered because of our security and cost containment concerns." — D.P. via Facebook

"My firm is kicking and screaming against it. Regardless of the 'security,' there is still the impression that sensitive and confidential data can be compromised." — K.F., via Facebook

Now that you've seen a few less-than-glowing comments about cloud centralization, let's see the flip side:

"I don't mind Autodesk's new license rental method, mainly because I already have a good core of perpetual licenses that we maintain. I will leverage it when our workload picks up again and new hires exceed my base license pool." — V.W., via Facebook

"The challenge within the contract furniture industry is that it is expected that all drawing platforms will be supported, regardless of release. If the cloud platform finally forces the issue for advancement in production and workflow ... why not?" — Alibia, via Cadalyst
Read more »


:: CAD Manager's Toolbox

Spiceworks Offers Free IT Management Resources

I've recently started using some free IT management applications from Spiceworks, and I've become very impressed with the wide variety of applications they offer for network monitoring, purchasing, and help desk management, as well as their community of support. Spiceworks partners with a variety of IT and hardware solutions providers that sponsor the site, so the entire service is free to the user.

Spiceworks Offers Free IT Management Resources

Read more »

Do you have a helpful tip, recommendation, or question for the CAD Manager's Newsletter? Send it to me at If I use your tip in the newsletter, you'll receive a Cadalyst prize!


:: Resources

Autodesk Offers Keyboard Shortcut Guides for Revit and Inventor
Autodesk has released a Revit shortcut key guide and an Inventor shortcut key guide. Each guide includes an abbreviated list of the most frequently used commands in the application, as well as a downloadable PDF of all the shortcut keys.


:: Events

Essentials for Excellence in Automotive
August 13, 2015
11 a.m. ET
This Siemens PLM Software webinar will discuss the use of the company's Teamcenter product data management (PDM) solution in the automotive industry. Read more »

Clean Up Imported Files in Inspire
August 13, 2015
2 p.m. ET
This 20-minute tip from solidThinking will discuss how to use Inspire modeling software tools to clean up imported geometries. Read more »

e-SPECS for Revit Live Webinar
August 13, 2015
2 p.m. ET
This InterSpec webinar discusses the company's e-SPECS for Revit for automated and coordinated specifications with Autodesk Revit. Topics include automated spec sections from your Revit models, viewing specs and cut-sheets directly in Revit, keynote coordination, BIM validation reports and more. Read more »

Solutions for Plant Design and Detailing: Making the Move
August 18, 2015
11 a.m. PT
This Autodesk webinar will discuss the tools available to help users make the switch to AutoCAD Plant 3D and Advance Steel for plant design. Read more »

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on Are you hosting an event that you would like to include in our calendar? Submit details at least two weeks in advance to


:: What's New at

How to Draw Clockwise Arcs and Fillet an Open Polyline to Itself
AutoCAD loves to draw arcs counter-clockwise — but what if you need clockwise? Autodesk Evangelist Lynn Allen shows you how to insist on a clockwise arc with the push of one button and how to fillet an open polyline to itself! Watch the video »

VBA Lives On with AutoCAD 2016
It's still possible to customize AutoCAD vertical products with Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). Read more »

First Look Review: Seneca Data VFX 9200
Burly workstation is designed for serious computing. Read more »

Herrera on Hardware: Why Workstation Ergonomics Matter
Modern machine design involves more than just speeds and feeds. Industry trends indicate that your next workstation will be easier to move, service, and forget about. Read more »

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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