Top 5 Distinctions between IT and CAD Management

Written by: Lisa Polonski, Review by: Ron Brys.



IT managers are typically responsible for licensing and installing software instituting company-wide hardware upgrades, network management and security. However, IT managers are not typically versed with the knowledge to reap maximum efficiency from CAD software.

Management of your businesses’ computer-aided design (CAD) resources is critical to maximizing your investment in technology and staying relevant in a competitive market. It also improves employee satisfaction and retention.

Here is a list of the top 5 reasons CAD technology infrastructure requires the finesse of a CAD professional, and not solely that of the IT manager:

1) At the core it is very simple: An airline pilot does a visual and systems check on a plane but does not have the knowledge of a chief mechanic. In the pilot’s case there is a distinction between managing the flight and the detailed mechanics of the plane. This distinction also exists between CAD and IT managers. How many IT professionals have design and production experience to really understand the needs of the CAD user?

2) A true CAD professional has a combination of expertise in both CAD and IT. While an IT professional can keep you up and running, they generally cannot offer you much in the way of workflow improvement, software customization or command options. If you wish to maximize the efficiency, uniformity, and overall functionality of your CAD projects, you must employ the expertise of a CAD professional.

3) A CAD professional keeps informed on changes to the software utilized. How many IT professionals understand or can evaluate the ramifications of moving between releases of CAD and design application software? Both a plan and roadmap needs to be in place to effectively maximize any software.

4) Coordinate Systems & projections, GIS, raster imagery, lidar, point clouds, working units, file referencing, plotting configuration, workspaces & profiles, field-to-finish, machine control, international vs. Survey foot. How familiar is your IT department with these critical CAD technologies?

5) DGN, DWG, DXF, XML, LandXML, LAS, FWD, IRD, TMP, GPK, FIL, PSS, GSF, DGNLIB, WMF, UPF, KMZ….. How many of these file format types does a typical IT department work with on a regular basis? Do they understand the pros and cons of using them? How to translate between formats or the associated options for creation and use?


If you are a CAD professional and found yourself nodding your head as you read through this list, use these points to model the value of a managed CAD environment, separate from IT, to your employer. If you are a senior manager and your eyes were opened by the aforementioned distinctions, begin to take steps toward putting management in place in your CAD department.

In either scenario, visit or feel free to give us a call at (608) 836-3903 to discuss the value of a managed CAD environment and how it can improve efficiency with an increased ROI on your technology investments. A managed services solution may be just what your CAD department needs.


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Since 1996, EnvisionCAD has been a nationally recognized leader in the configuration, customization, implementation, training & support for CAD software solutions. Our individualized approach has benefited private engineering firms and government agencies alike. Basic or advanced, we can help you get the most from your CAD technology.

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One comment on “Top 5 Distinctions between IT and CAD Management

  1. Lilit Reply

    The best part of using CMS IntelliCAD was finding out it has all the CAD features I’d already worked with. I was pretty worried about finding a good fit for me, but CMS IntelliCAD is definitely unbeatable. Registered for free and had a free trial before payment, I’m glad I could test it out before any payment. CMS IntelliCAD is definitely worth the hype.

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