The growth of computer designing in the cloud is becoming more profound in Computer Aided Design technology. The advancements in the cloud technology have become a great opportunity for organizations worldwide to get access to vital information on the go and to make the data, tools and much more accessible to people anywhere and at any time. This allows the developers and designers to save their work on cloud platforms which can then be accessed from anywhere. The enormous benefits of CAD on the cloud include higher mobility, better storage capacity, significant cost reductions and the ease of updating the software.
Cloud CAD software offers many of the features from traditional CAD software that is usually installed on your local computer except cloud CAD runs in a browser or provides cloud services through an app. Typical CAD software is updated to newer versions usually on a schedule and is licensed on a perpetual basis whereas cloud CAD is updated on a remote server and is acquired by paying a fee on a monthly or annual basis. The main features of cloud CAD includes
- Automatically saves and backup your files securely.
- Access your files from anywhere as long as you’re connected to the internet.
- Instant updates and upgrades with no work on your part.
- Use the extra computing power of the cloud for intensive tasks.
- Show your work to your clients at the same time wherever you are
However, ‘it’s not always rainbows and butterflies’ with CAD on the cloud. With this new technology, you lose control over your data and software while data storage companies will become more and more powerful. Your software won’t be yours anymore and your data won’t be in your company’s own server.
This centralized model of CAD allows software/cloud vendors to charge for their software and servers forever and gives them ultimate control over your CAD system since they can disconnect you from your applications and data if you don’t keep paying them. Even with all the marketing hype, CAD users are growing ever more skeptical of this cloud concept and the movement towards cloud storage and software rental is happening slowly than anticipated mainly because big software companies are trying to force users out from keeping perpetual licenses in order to enforce annual subscription rental models.
The ‘anti-cloud’ resistance has spread among companies that use CAD software due to the following reasons,
Additional cost: Most companies aren’t happy about having to face new monthly costs to use a software they already have purchased in the past.
Losing the ownership benefits: For a company that already owns the full benefits of the software, it’s confusing to pay a monthly fee to a cloud vendor who could shut down their software usage and data if the rental fee isn’t paid on time.
Network security problems: Profound network security problems have been observed in recent years. Companies are aware of the fact that as more of your design processes and data are moved to cloud based tools, you become vulnerable to security failures.
Risk reduction vs cost reduction: let’s just assume a company wants to cut down it’s IT and hardware costs by moving to the CAD cloud, do you think they will prioritize cost reduction over risk reduction? Risk reduction will be the main concern since no one enjoys getting their software and data resources hacked.
Overall it’s a great technological advancement to have CAD on the cloud option. It’s a stepping stone to the future. Still, in the long run, for this technology to become successful and appreciated, better security options should be provided to CAD using companies and possibly less monthly/yearly rental charges.