Autodesk's State Of Design & Make 2023 Key Findings


In an era defined by swift technological advancements, including integrating Autodesk products such as the AEC Collection and PDM Collection, the Autodesk State Of Design & Make 2023 report provides invaluable insights into the evolving landscape of business resilience.

The prevailing theme that emerges from the survey data and interviews is unmistakable: even as business leaders and experts anticipate heightened uncertainty in the upcoming years, the formidable challenges they’ve already confronted, often aided by Autodesk’s innovative solutions, have endowed them with the tools and mindset to approach the future with unwavering confidence.

In this article, we delve into the top 10 key concepts from the report, offering a deeper understanding of each one and their significance in today’s business environment.

1. Business Resilience: Adapting to the Unexpected

Business resilience is the bedrock of modern enterprises in our rapidly evolving world. It’s not merely about surviving but thriving in the face of adversity. Resilient businesses can swiftly adapt to sudden disruptions, ensuring continuity and survival.

They anticipate challenges, prepare for them, respond effectively, and embrace adaptability as a core value. In essence, business resilience is about turning setbacks into opportunities.

Business Resilience: Adapting to the Unexpected

2. Learning from the Past: Lessons in Adaptability

Throughout history, businesses have weathered countless storms, from economic recessions to natural disasters. Each challenge has posed threats to continuity, profitability, and even survival. However, they have also been invaluable learning experiences.

These events have demonstrated that successful companies that navigate these challenges are agile, adaptable, and forward-thinking. They learn from their past experiences to build a foundation for future resilience.

3. Preparing for the Future: Proactive Stance

The report highlights a significant trend in business resilience: it’s not enough to react to challenges; businesses must proactively prepare for them. This includes increased investments in technology, product development, sustainability, and talent. Digital transformation is no longer a buzzword; it’s a necessity. Companies are integrating advanced technologies like AI, machine learning, and IoT into their operations, ensuring they remain competitive and resilient in future technological disruptions.

Sustainability is also crucial, as companies recognize that sustainable practices are suitable for the planet and vital for long-term business viability. By adopting sustainable practices now, businesses position themselves favorably in the eyes of future consumers, investors, and regulators.

4. Digital Maturity: A Competitive Edge

Digital maturity has emerged as a key differentiator in the journey towards resilience. Having already embraced the digital revolution, digitally mature companies are better equipped to handle disruptions. Their ability to pivot, adapt, and innovate quickly gives them a competitive edge.

The Autodesk report underscores this trend, with digitally mature companies investing more aggressively in future-ready solutions than their less mature counterparts.

5. Talent: The Cornerstone of Success

Talent is the lifeblood of any organization. It drives the vision, shapes the culture, and ultimately determines whether a business succeeds or fails. In today’s hyper-competitive global marketplace, attracting, nurturing, and retaining the right talent cannot be overstated. However, the definition of talent has evolved. It’s no longer solely about academic qualifications or years of experience.

Today, talent encompasses diverse skills, aptitudes, and attitudes. It’s about the software developer who can craft elegant code, the marketer with a knack for understanding consumer behavior, the leader who can inspire and motivate, and the team player who can collaborate across departments and geographies.

Talent The cornerstone of success

6. The Global Hunt for Talent: A Borderless Competition

The quest for skilled talent is now a global competition. Companies can seamlessly collaborate with talent worldwide with digital tools and remote work paradigms.

While this global talent pool offers a broader selection, it also introduces complexities. Cultural nuances, time zone differences, and regulatory frameworks challenge talent acquisition and management.

7. Investing in Talent Development: Nurturing Growth

Hiring the right people is the first step; the real journey begins with nurturing them. Training and upskilling have become integral to talent management strategies. Companies invest in continuous learning programs, workshops, and courses, ensuring their employees stay abreast of the latest trends and technologies.

This enhances the company’s capabilities and boosts employee morale and loyalty. Employees who feel valued and see a clear growth trajectory are more likely to stay committed and engaged.

8. Sustainability: From Buzzword to Business Strategy

Sustainability has undergone a profound transformation, shifting from the peripheries of corporate social responsibility to the forefront of business strategy. A confluence of factors drives this transformation. Consumers, empowered by information and driven by a growing awareness of global challenges, now demand more from brands. They seek transparency, ethical practices, and a genuine commitment to the planet.

Investors are also shifting their focus, recognizing that sustainable businesses are better poised for long-term success and are less vulnerable to reputational or regulatory risks. Employees, especially the younger generation, want to align themselves with companies that reflect their values.

9. Innovation at the Intersection of Business and Sustainability

As sustainability becomes central to business strategies, it becomes a hotbed for innovation. Companies are leveraging technology and creativity to develop sustainable solutions. Whether creating biodegradable packaging, harnessing AI to optimize energy consumption, or developing products with a minimal environmental footprint, sustainability challenges are met with innovative responses.

10. Building Resilience Through Sustainability

Incorporating sustainability into the core business strategy enhances resilience. Companies prioritizing sustainable practices are better equipped to navigate regulatory changes, adapt to shifting consumer preferences, and mitigate risks associated with environmental challenges. In essence, sustainability acts as a buffer, protecting businesses from external shocks and ensuring continuity.

Building Resilience Through Sustainability

Report results to take into account

At this point, we check some of the data provided by the report that must be considered. With data from various sectors and regions, the insights offer a holistic understanding of businesses’ strategic choices to thrive in a rapidly changing world.

Digital Dependence and Growth

79% of respondents believe their company’s future growth is intrinsically tied to digital tools.

Remote Work Dominates Investment

Remote work emerged as the primary area of increased investment over the past three years.

76% of respondents confirmed an uptick in remote work investments during this period.

Evolution of the Workforce

A staggering 72% of respondents observed that the workforce has changed more in the past three years than in the preceding 25 years.

This evolution is attributed to widespread remote work, digital adoption, and global operations.

Talent Acquisition and Training

Attracting and retaining talent is a top challenge, with 48% across industries highlighting it.

56% of companies have hired employees lacking the necessary skills, choosing to provide on-the-job training.

This emphasis on talent is further underscored by the fact that 72% believe the workforce’s evolution in the last three years surpasses changes over the previous 25 years.

Sustainability as a Business Imperative

An overwhelming 94% anticipate sustainability-focused changes in their industries or organizations in the upcoming years.

55% view improving sustainability practices as beneficial in the short term, while 80% see it as a sound long-term business decision.

External pressures are evident, with 82% feeling the push from customers to achieve sustainability goals.

Global Uncertainty and Business Resilience

A universal takeaway is the expectation of increased uncertainty in the future. However, challenges already faced have equipped businesses for what lies ahead.

Business resilience is paramount. Leaders plan to amplify investments in technology, product development, sustainability, and talent in the next three years, more than the past three.

Digitally mature companies are leading this charge, surpassing other businesses’ future investment rates.

Regional Perspectives on Global Changes

86% of European respondents feel the global landscape is uncertain, slightly more than their counterparts in the Americas or the APAC region (both at 75%).

Confidence in handling global changes is highest among Chinese respondents at 77%, while 65% of those from the APAC region share this sentiment. In contrast, Europe stands at 58% and the Americas at 51%.

Sector-Specific Confidence

In the Design & Manufacturing (D&M) sector, 56% expressed confidence in managing unforeseen events. This is slightly lower than the Architecture, Engineering, Construction, and Operations (AECO) sector at 62% and Media and Entertainment (M&E) at 60%.

The COVID-19 Impact

52% of respondents noted day-to-day operational changes in their companies to counteract the pandemic’s effects.

Investment Trends and Regional Variations

Beyond remote work, companies plan to increase investments in various areas over the next three years at rates higher than the past three years.

APAC-based respondents are more inclined to boost investments than respondents from other regions. Specifically, Chinese respondents are most likely to increase investments.

When pondering the future of their industry, 23% of respondents are excited about innovation, with 74% emphasizing technology’s role in delivering project outcomes.


The Autodesk State Of Design & Make 2023 report isn’t just a snapshot of the current business landscape; it’s a compass pointing toward the future. The overarching message is one of optimism and proactive resilience. While uncertainties are a given, past challenges have provided businesses with a blueprint for the future.

The emphasis on talent acquisition and upskilling, the strategic pivot towards sustainability, and the recognition of digital maturity as a key differentiator are not just trends. They are signposts for businesses aiming to thrive in an ever-evolving landscape.

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