How to Make the Case for Upgrading your Agency’s Autodesk Software

Unless your head's been buried in sand for the past decade then you’ll know that CAD software giant Autodesk releases software upgrades on an annual basis, the most recent being the 2015 releases this Spring.

If you’re fortunate enough to be an Autodesk Subscription customer then you can enjoy the features of each upgrade automatically. As any Autodesk sales rep will tell you, Subscription is the most cost-effective way to keep your Autodesk software up-to-date with access to the latest software releases and product enhancements.

If you’re not a Subscription customer, getting your boss to approve a purchase order for the latest release of AutoCAD, Civil 3D, Revit, or any of Autodesk software isn’t always that straightforward. Government budgets are tight, but don’t give up the fight. Here are a few things you can do to make the case for upgrading your Autodesk software to the latest and greatest version.

Share Hard Data about Productivity Gains

Making new software purchases can be risky, but waiting too long to upgrade can also result in lost productivity.  New features, enhanced performance, and other benefits such as the addition of cloud-integration tools help you design faster, reduce costly change orders, improve collaboration and, yes, do more with less!

These aren’t just marketing promises; research shows that upgrading your design and engineering software will increase productivity.

A 2011 AutoCAD productivity study by HP, for example, concluded that upgrading from AutoCAD 2008 to AutoCAD 2012 resulted in dramatic and conclusive gains with time savings ranging from 20 to 94 percent, with an average time savings of 36 percent! Throw in a new workstation, operating system, and graphics card and overall time savings peaked at 80 percent. This equates to individual productivity gains ranging from 25 to 1525 percent, with an average overall productivity improvement of 57 percent.

“Doing more with less” is an old adage that never fails to send shivers down the spine of the busiest CAD manager. But, as the numbers show, upgrading your software really can make a big difference to productivity levels.

Point Out How Productivity Gains will Help your Department

Now step back a bit and think about your work environment. What specific productivity problems would an upgrade help you overcome? Ask yourself a few questions about the status quo:

  • How quickly and easily can you complete projects?
  • Do manual processes slow you down and what are they?
  • What time-saving features in the latest software could you benefit from?

If you can cut just a few hours of your workload each week to focus on more mission-critical tasks and projects, the investment may well justify itself. But don’t just stop there. Think about how much time you could save on each existing project and how many more could you take on. These are concrete numbers that will help build your case for an upgrade.

Align Feature Sets to your Needs

Spend some time getting to know and understand the potential that any new features in the new release could bring to your job and the department as a whole. Tie these features to the specific functions they can help you perform, whether it’s automating a previously manual process or making it easier to share designs and models with non-technical stakeholders (a big plus for gov agencies who work on projects that require buy-in from the public, politicians and other non-techy folks).

Oh, and in case you need a quick run-through of the new features in the 2015 releases, check out a few blogs: AutoCAD 2015 – Expect Great Things and 5 Reasons to love AutoCAD Civil 3D 2015, to name but a few. You can also Google numerous free webinars available live or on-demand that will give you the low-down on your favorite software’s new features.


Hopefully these tips will help you build a strong case for making the upgrade. Don't forget to throw in the benefits of a Subscription license and you’ll never have to make the case for an upgrade again, it will happen automatically. These Top Reasons to Use Autodesk Subscription can help with that argument!


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