An interesting study has just been released by Business Advantage Group, a B2B research and consultancy based in the U.K. I thought some of the results of the survey were surprising and worth sharing. The company surveyed 409 CAD users and decision makers with the goal of identifying key trends in the CAD sector, both now and over the next five years. While certainly CAD vendors will find this information useful, I think that CAD users and their managers might find some of these trends useful as well.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the more interesting results.
1. There’s still a large gap between technology use and awareness. According to the study, for 3D modeling technology, 81% of respondents were “aware” of the technology, but only 62% were actually using the technology. For simulation, nearly half (48%) of respondents were aware of the technology, but only 28% were actually using it. Due to all the recent buzz on 3D printing, 65% of respondents were aware of it, yet only 14% were using it. Though this isn’t particularly surprising since the 3D printing industry is still in its infancy, the gaps in both simulation and 3D modeling are more shocking since both are fairly mature technologies.
2. More people want mobile access to CAD. According to the survey, 21% of respondents are currently using some means of accessing CAD data on mobile platforms and that number is predicting to grow by 10% in the next year. In the Americas, that percentage is currently over a quarter of all respondents (26%). Look for growth in this area to be high in Asia Pacific with an 18% growth rate anticipated over the next year. For more on the the issues involved with Mobile CAD, see “Is CAD Becoming More Portable.”
3. Big data not a “big” deal yet. Despite a lot of media attention and making nearly everyone’s top tech trends list, big data apps still don’t seem too important to CAD users. Despited the touted benefits of mining big data, which include faster response times to market (45%), savings on cost (41%) and design time (32%), as well as design improvements (32%), according to the survey, only 3% of respondents are currently using data analytics applications and only a total of 4% will be predicted to do so within the next year.
4. CAD in the cloud will grow. While only a paltry 7% of respondents to the survey indicate that they currently using Cloud-Based CAD, that number is predicted to grow 9% over the next year and another 9% within the next five years. So within five years, a quarter of these respondents will be moving to the cloud for CAD. Benefits of cloud-based CAD seen as higher mobility (76%), increased storage capacity (36%), ease of updating software (35%) and cost reductions (33%).
5. Less overseas outsourcing of CAD-related jobs. It appears the trend of outsourcing CAD talent is waning. Currently 8% of respondents indicated that their respective companies are outsourcing CAD-related jobs overseas, and that number is only expected to rise by 1% within the next year. What was surprising was the fact that outsourcing CAD talent is more prevalent at large companies (14%) than smaller companies (4%).