CAD Manager's Newsletter (#389)

8 Aug, 2017 By: Robert Green

An Open Letter to IT from the CAD Manager

Before your IT staff rushes to move tools and resources onto the cloud, make sure they understand the possible impact on CAD users.

Summer on the CloudAs Summer on the Cloud continues, it's time to ponder a scenario I see far too often: Corporate or IT decision makers move to adopt cloud technology, without first considering how CAD tools could be impacted. In many cases, CAD users struggle as ill-advised cloud storage implementations, sluggish wide-area networks (WANs), or poorly thought-out licensing schemes disrupt proven workflows — and CAD managers are left to pick up the pieces.

In this edition of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, I'll share a sample letter to IT that you can use to head off cloud-based mistakes before they happen. Feel free to edit this letter to suit your situation, or just use the topics as conversation starters. Here goes.

Dear IT Department,

It's me, the CAD manager. I know our company is eager to reduce IT costs and move things onto the cloud these days, but I'd like to request that we all consider some of the potential problems our CAD Letterusers could encounter before we jump into anything. Our CAD work processes are an integral part of getting our projects done, so I take a keen interest in anything that might disrupt them.

Please know that I mean no disrespect to anyone, and that I want to be part of the solution. I'd like to list some of my concerns in hopes that we can have a productive conversation about cloud technology as it relates to CAD.

Concern 1: Don't Rush to Replace Things That Work

I realize that the CAD companies are pushing you to license cloud-based applications rather than continuing with existing tools. I know they may even be offering special sales and subscription discounts for cloud products, but before considering any of those offers, we must ask the following questions:

  • Do the tools we use today still work?
  • Will the new cloud tools work any better (or worse)?
  • Is there a compelling productivity reason to switch?

I would argue that switching from what we have installed already to a cloud-based alternative only merits consideration if we solve existing problems by doing so, or boost productivity substantially. Switching just to switch opens us up to all sorts of potential implementation problems, bugs, and workflow changes. In short, if what we have isn't broken, why would we try to "fix it" with new cloud components? Read more »

Tools and Resources

Industrial Press Releases Three AutoCAD Guides
Industrial Press has published Beginning AutoCAD 2018, Advanced AutoCAD 2018, and AutoCAD 3D Modeling, an exercise workbook. The three volumes, written by Cheryl Shrock and Steve Heather, are available for individual purchase or as a collection.

What's New at

Deciphering High-Definition Monitor Technologies for CAD
When navigating the HD maze to find the best monitor for your purposes, it's easy to get lost in acronyms. Start by understanding the basic terminology and options in the marketplace. Read more »

IMAGINiT Tricks Tutorial: Create Revit Content from Autodesk Inventor Models
Learn how to convert Inventor files into BIM models for Revit, and the improvements made to Inventor 2018 to help users with that process. Read more »

Hardware Becomes More Mobile with New Products Debuting at SIGGRAPH
HP's new backpack-style VR kit and external GPUs from NVIDIA promise a more flexible, portable future for CAD and virtual reality users. Read more »

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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