CAD Manager's Q&A: Will IT Managers Answer to CAD Managers?

22 Jun, 2005 By: Robert Green

At what point do you see the IT manager answering to the CAD manager, rather than the other way around? It seems to me that the purpose of general IT is to support the CAD systems, rather than having the CAD systems as an add-on to the IT mess.

Robert Green answers: I don't see the CAD manager being in charge of IT any day soon for the simple reason that CAD users will always be a relatively small subset of all computer users in any given company. …

… Add to this the fact that IT supports accounting, procurement, telephones, copiers and so forth, and overseeing IT functions doesn't seem so glamorous after all. As a CAD manager, I sure don't want to worry about phones and copiers!

Having said that, I also want to reiterate that industry trends are clearly moving toward CAD becoming a more collaborative and network-intensive computing platform, so IT technology will increasingly overlap CAD management and demand that CAD managers have a solid understanding of IT. I think the optimal CAD/IT arrangement — one that supports an efficient design culture — would be an autonomous CAD manager who reports to engineering or project management teams rather than IT. The IT department would then work quietly in the background to support more robust CAD platform functions rather than impede them.

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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