Business Advantage has been running a global CAD trends survey for three years now. By tracking changes from year to year, they get to report on trends -- what is highly hyped and how much is in actual use.
The firm in December collected results from 203 responses to questions running CAD software over the Internet on servers located on remote sites. Although the number is small relative to the entire CAD market, the distribution of firm size, industry sector, and geographic location was good. Where there was a bias was in the brand of software used: 60% used software from Autodesk and 41% ran AutoCAD or LT (41%); all other brands registered 14% or fewer.
Here are, nevertheless, some of the results of the study.
9% are using CAD on the cloud
6% are implementing it
12% are considering implementing it
50% want to run software on a private cloud
25% are happy using a public cloud, such as services provided by Amazon or Google
25% want to use a hybrid cloud (part public, part private) or a community cloud (several customers share one cloud service)
24% think they'll get better collaboration and lower costs by using the cloud
33% think they will see no benefit
The primary concerns that survey respondents have are:
- The lack of security on cloud
- The increased dependency on vendors
Vendors who bet their future on all-cloud will be disappointed by the last slide in the survey results: desktop CAD is here to stay. Most respondents use desktop computers for cloudCAD, and expect that to continue for at least five years.
Q: Can you define what you mean by "in the cloud"
A: Software programs are delivered to the user over the Internet, the software is not stored on the desktop computer or on a local server. Files can be stored in any of the three locations.
Q: Regarding updates ... what if I don't want the upgrade (because the older version works better for me)?
A: This is a good question, we will have to come back to you on this.
Q: Is the majority of the companies implementing CAD in the cloud relatively new companies, like startups for example?
A: We did not capture the length of operation of companies.
Q: Do all vendors (listed by respondents) offer cloud-based solutions?
A: [Many do, but not all.]
Q: Do users prefer a cloud-based or mobile client?
A: We did not ask this question.
Q: What is a private cloud, and how is it different from a local server?
A: Private cloud runs inside the corporate firewall.