Management and IT Takes Center Stage
A piece of advice I always throw into my CAD manager talks is, “Write out CAD management and note how much bigger the word management is than CAD.” In 2022, I expect this trend to accelerate and even become worse as we appear to be stuck with a work from home paradigm that causes more coordination and managerial work than ever. Add to this that the IT burden of dealing with file sharing, cloud apps, scattered resources in Teams silos, remote access issues, and CAD licensing changes and management is an even larger part of the job. Think you can just focus on CAD or BIM work as a CAD manager and be happy and successful? No way. We all must improve how we manage everything from software to projects to people. This theme will recur in the items below, so keep reading.
So, what resolutions can we make to assist with this increased management burden and how do we know where to place our emphasis?
Resolve to: Manage your CAD resources in a way that saves money, increases employee output, and maximizes speed of output for your company. If any task you are asked to do doesn’t support these objectives, then it is low priority.
Resolve NOT to: Change software just to make changes, undertake big organizational changes, or enter into expensive new software contracts without seeing PROOF from vendors that it’ll work.
Software Costs Become Unsustainable
Any of you who participate in budgeting know that software continues to become more expensive. But, it isn’t just the cost per license that is driving costs up so fast. Consider the following:
- Named user policies mean license sharing or “pooling” can no longer be used to keep costs down.
- More “extras” and “upcharges” are being applied, like premium fees for Single Sign On (SSO) or cloud data tools.
- Migration from traditional desktop-based CAD/BIM tools to a patchwork quilt of cloud applications costs a substantial amount of implementation time and time is, after all, money.
- Administrative burden is ever increasing as licensing compliance becomes a more difficult task.
- Dealing with licensing issues such as AWS server outages can cause serious loss of production time.
Taken together these trends are making CAD/BIM a lot more expensive these days and causing a lot of consternation in corporate boardrooms. 2022 may be the year where software budgets will be capped and somebody — we all know it is the CAD manager — will have to figure out how to move forward.
So, how should you approach this problematic budget reality?
Resolve to: Optimize what you already have — especially if you can leverage perpetual software tools rather than annual subscriptions.
Resolve to: Skip software updates to keep implementation costs down unless absolutely required.
Resolve to: Analyze what software your users need to do their jobs and lower license counts aggressively to save.
Resolve to: Be creative in using remote access and machine sharing to keep software costs down. I’m not telling you to violate any licensing policies here, but I am saying that you should do everything you can to keep seat counts down.
Resolve NOT to: Buy software that isn’t mission critical at your location or cave-in to software company pressure to buy things you simply don’t need.
CAD Software Becomes More Plugged-In
Way back when the first CAD programs came out, you just bought the software and hoped you could make it work. Then, the market evolved to offer add-ons for task-specific undertakings like BIM or mechanical modelling. The add-on market gave way to entirely new, specialized software products, but now even those products are being added to via specialized plug-in modules for rendering, surface modelling, analysis, etc. These products are frequently not produced by the same company as your CAD vendor. Think Enscape, Grasshopper, Lumion, etc. and you’ve got the picture.
So, how do we navigate this this complex, plugged-in landscape?
Find out how best to manage software growth and expenses, plus what resolutions to make concerning hardware, staffing issues, and how to foster respect for your position as a CAD manager! Read More >>