Autodesk in 2016: Transforming to Meet a Changing Industry

By Robert Siegel, Peter Seibert
2016 | Case No. E613 | Length 27 pgs.

The purpose of this case is to look at Autodesk’s cultural and technological challenges as the company faces a changing industry. With various innovations such as the cloud, the Internet of things, and various new manufacturing processes affecting every aspect of the company’s future, students will be introduced to the various decisions and challenges a corporation has to face in order to remain ahead of massive industry disruption. The case analyzes Autodesk’s three major branches: (1) Architectural and Engineering, (2) Manufacturing, and (3) Media & Entertainment and how all three branches are adjusting to meet the future.  Of particular focus is the shift to a subscription business model, the cultural ramifications of such a shift, the arrival of activist investors to the company’s stock, and the various disruptive innovations in Autodesk’s markets. 

Learning Objective

Students will discuss what happens to a company when technology sideswipes an industry. Learnings include executive decision-making, the cultural ramifications of such decisions, workforce motivation and cultural transformation, the effect of activist investors, considerations when shifting to a Software as a Service business, and strategic planning in times of industry innovation.
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