Carl Bass, CEO - Autodesk delivered the opening keynote address at the Autodesk Conference in London this week.With over 600 people in attendance, Bass outlined what he see's as the 5 Global Trends that impact and lead toward Autodesk products and users that result in doing business.
Trend 1 - Growth in the Middle ClassAs the middle class continues to grow, design is becoming an important factor, allowing people to "stand-out" in the world - differentiation. Population will hit 9 million by 2050 Bass says, and design can lead to more choices. As example he provided the case of running shoes, which are now designed and sold on a personal taste basis. Another example includes the Apple IPOD. "Good design looks at the entire product or the experience, as Bass puts it. In China, there are stores with mobile phones on 3 floors, again representing design and choice for many customers.Trend 2 - Rise of Emerging EconomiesConsumer spending globally is reaching 4 trillion USD and will reach 9 trillion in the not too distant future. India now has 10% growth and the country is home to 8-10 "signature" buildings within 5 years. Brazil has a deficit of 12.5 million housing units, Bass says. All of these factors provide a glimpse into the potential growth (and uptake) of Autodesk products.Trend 3 - Global Infrastructure BoomPoor infrastructure is everywhere. Much of it will need to be replaced and or expanded. Design tools are part of that process. There is a shortage of people in the infrastructure industry that are able to use design tools. At the present time, Bass indicates that 4.6 trillion USD is being spent on infrastructure related problems. Within the U.S. the amount is 1.6 trillion USD and includes dams, roads, transportation, hurricane related efforts associated with reconstruction, as well as ongoing threats and security.Trend 4 - Sustainable DesignBass points to the new Toyota cars (upon pointing out that every car manufactured uses an Autodesk product) which are "hybrids". Sustainable design will embody efficiency, and conservation of resources. Buildings will have energy saving skins and buildings like the SOM Building in China will have photo voltaic cells in the skin and double walled structure. New initiatives like "urban hydroponics" and "Green Buildings" are set to make their debut in a big way.Trend 5 - The Digital LifeDevices are converging and several technologies are integrating, as example the phone camera and location finder. But other devices tht monitor temperature and provide education are also being re-designed and offered. Overall, Carl Bass provided the audience with a summary of the drivers' that cross the boundaries between Autodesk Divisions. From Media to Architecture and Design to Infrastructure and in between, and following the many examples he provided from around the world, "things are happening". My take on the opening Keynote from the Autodesk CEO is that the company is at the crossroads of where and how these global events and changes are taking place. The word Opportunity came up many times throughout the conference and it is not hard to see why. Autodesk is wedged effectively into the 'Creators of the World', providing tools that cause people to think of new ideas and create in new ways.There is a positive energy about that and I can tell you that the many presentations I saw are fine examples of that, since many of those presenting were excited about what they 'can do' and are doing - that to me, summed it up!
Author: Jeff Thurston
Bio.: Editor, GEO International
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