This is going far beyond just a few curmudgeons upset about someone fiddling with their CAD software. If it was ever just that.
Remember when Apple aficionados used to be sanctimonious about not getting hit by viruses? If you’re a crook, do you knock over a thrift store? No, you go where the money is – like a bank. Apple users don’t yap about viruses so much now that they are more popular, because they are seen as more of a target.
Remember when it was safe to store your stuff on-line? It was safe pretty much because it wasn’t widespread enough to be seen as a lucrative target. Plus, now we know that there are people who do bad stuff purely out of the badness of their hearts. They aren’t looking for any monetary reward, they just like doing bad things. <cue ACDC Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap>
The more widespread the cloud becomes, the more it is seen as a target, the less secure it becomes. If you put a pot of gold in the cloud, someone is going to figure out how to loot it. It’s just that simple. CAD data is a huge jackpot for corporate espionage. Putting it in the cloud will just make it that much easier.
I think the cloud is great – for stuff you just want to give away. Like this blog. Like social media stuff. I use cloud stuff for things where I think it’s appropriate – stuff I don’t mind losing or giving away. Backing up to the cloud? No. But I back up my blog on my local machine and NAS. And even so, this blog has been hacked at least twice. Charles Culp’s blog has been hacked, the SolidWorks forums have been hacked a couple of times – basically if you put it on-line, you can expect it to get hacked. I don’t know why things would be magically different for CAD data.
We have Wozniak, of all people, sounding the alarm about ownership in the cloud, this being reported here by a couple of commenters already. This is just one of the founders of the digital age talking common sense about real concerns. Why take your data, give it to someone else, and then rent it back from them, especially when they will offer you no guarantees that it won’t get hacked.
And then there was this poor schlep Mat Honan (a Gizmodo editor) who was massively hacked this past weekend, and lost all the data on his iCloud, iPhone, iPad, and Mac Book Air, not to mention, Twitter, a related Gizmodo Twitter acct and who knows what else being compromised. Was his case really all that much different from any other reasonably connected netizen? It just shows, if someone wants it, they are going to take it or destroy it. To pretend that you’re going to develop a hack-proof, fail-proof system is fooling yourself. And if you’re planning on doing this for customers, you are not giving them any comfort at all. No one in their right mind would sign an agreement that gives a corporation all their stuff, but doesn’t hold the corporation responsible for keeping it safe.
I’m not saying that just CAD in the Cloud is a bad idea. I think keeping any work on the cloud is a bad idea. “Oh, but Salesforce.com…” you say. Yeah, they’ve been hacked a bunch of times. This stuff is in the news constantly. I’d rather deep fry a turkey than put CAD data in the cloud.
Someone commented here last week about the fact that CAD in the cloud is probably appropriate for companies with multi-national design teams. Well, yeah. But that’s not the core of SW’s business. The little guy is the core of SW’s business. The people running DS think all customers look like Catia customers. We’ll see how right they are. Plus, the multi-national design teams are taking a risk. Is it a smart risk? Is it a necessary risk? Is it a risk you gain anything from? The fact that they are pushing SolidWorks users in the direction of Catia users says to me that the folks at DS are out of touch.
Ralph Grabowski wrote a month ago on another blogger who wrote why he thought SolidWorks had to kill off their existing highly successful product. Read it at this link, then c’mon back.
First of all, I get it. SW was old. But I really don’t believe in the all-or-nothing approach. Abandoning what has been the best mid-range modeler is lunacy in my estimation. If you want to do something revolutionary, figure out a way to gracefully enhance your product in a meaningful way without abandoning it.
Vajrang Parvate, SolidWorks Director of R&D takes his negative campaign to the streets. He apparently doesn’t have anything positive to say about the company he works for or the product they develop, he just takes potshots at anyone who criticizes SolidWorks (or Apple). How Soviet. This guy is all the proof you need that the company is not what it once was. SolidWorks as a company used to handle things with more class. Hey Vaj, spend a little more time talking about your software, and a little less being so thin-skinned. The criticism must be hitting close to home.