CAD Manager's Newsletter (#357)

12 Jan, 2016 By: Robert Green

CAD Management Predictions for 2016

Which trends should you keep an eye on in the coming year, and how should you adapt to them?

Welcome to 2016! Now that the New Year has arrived, I'll continue my annual tradition of sharing predictions for how CAD market trends will change in the coming year. I'll also discuss some ways CAD managers can accommodate those changes.

My methodology for determining market trends isn't scientific, but it draws on a number of perspectives and solid sources of first-hand experience, including:

  • Interviews conducted with software industry personnel
  • Experience with my clients
  • Feedback from readers of the CAD Manager's Newsletter
  • Feedback from members of the Facebook CAD Manager's Unite group
  • Conversations with IT and CAD managers around the U.S.
  • Conversations with hundreds of CAD users at Autodesk University.

Let's have a look at the trends I think should be on your radar screen in 2016. Here goes.

Trends to Watch For

Of course, forecasting the future is never an entirely accurate undertaking, but here's what I expect will happen in 2016:

  • Cloud skepticism grows
  • Information security becomes paramount
  • Building information modeling (BIM) continues to solidify
  • Hardware storage speeds jump
  • CAD upgrades become sluggish
  • Optimization remains key to success.

Let's dig into each trend in more detail, with an eye toward why the trend is developing and how CAD managers may need to adjust their strategies.

Cloud Skepticism Will Grow

Cloud hype has been thick for the last few years. In fact, the haze of jargon and exaggerated marketing claims has been so overbearing that it is sometimes hard to tell what "the cloud" actually means. In the past year, however, that's become more clear, with cloud-based software being defined in one of the following ways:

  • Software whose licenses are locally installed, but are controlled from a cloud-based account (such as Autodesk 360 or Microsoft's Office 365) – this is sometimes called rental software.
  • Software that is entirely installed and maintained on a remote server (for example, Autodesk's BIM 360 Glue).

Read more »

:: CAD Manager's Toolbox

Autodesk Users Take Notice: Licensing Changes Coming in 2016

Attention all users of Autodesk software products: If you haven't yet educated yourself about the licensing changes that are under way, now is the time! I recommend you start with these columns I wrote in recent months:

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

Novedge Provides Library of On-Demand Webinars
Anyone can watch any of Novedge's previously recorded webinars, for free, without registering. The collection includes more than 180 technical webinars for 3D designers and artists.

:: What's New at

Webinar: SOLIDWORKS 2016, Realistic 3D CAD without Compromise
SOLIDWORKS 2016 brings a new user interface, new tools and new design workflow enhancements. Join us on Thursday, January 21, at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT and watch the experts demonstrate new functionality and learn how to push the limits of your 3D design experience while meeting deadlines. You'll learn how to optimize your experience with the right hardware. One lucky attendee will win a HP Z Z34c 34-inch Ultra Wide Curved Display ($999 value), sponsored by Insight. Presented by Cadalyst, and sponsored by HP and AMD.Read more »

Configuration Considerations for Modern Mobile Workstations
A mobile machine provides benefits that desktop models can't offer — but only if it's configured correctly. Read more »

Choose the Best Keyboard for CAD
The right design and features can boost comfort and productivity for heavy computer users. Read more »

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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