It's also worth mentioning that Dassault has recently teamed up with Nvidia, giving those with a Kepler-based Quadro workstation card the ability to produce highly detailed models very quickly due to some fancy code-tweaking within SolidWorks itself.
Suffice it to say, the 3DExperience platform consolidates everything engineers need in one location, negating the need to use multiple software suites to perform the same tasks, making it incredibly convenient and cost effective.
CAD-based applications making the transition over to the cloud is still in its infancy in terms of how many companies are actually doing so; however, this transition is only expected to grow. With current trends in 3D printing, the notion of cloud computing and consolidation makes sense as more makers are turning to CAD software with social applications to get their designs on the market quickly.
The software learning curve has also become easier, which opens up the market to a wider playing field in terms of new users who are adopting those CAD platforms. Those two aspects alone are attractive incentives to continue cloud development and consolidation; however, there is still one drawback that is a mitigating factor among new and seasoned users alike -- security.
Security is a big concern when it comes to sensitive data being housed in the ether, as it were. How safe can sensitive data and personal information be when networks and systems can be (and are routinely) hacked from outside sources from virtually anywhere?
Virtualization offers yet another layer that must be secured along with the system OS and hardware, which makes it difficult to truly secure against attacks or intrusions. While it's only a theory at this point, the reality of hacking into that virtualization software is a real concern as attackers could gain access and corrupt or reconfigure that software to do their bidding. Just like any other network or system, however, there are security measures put in place (deterrent, preventative, and detective controls) that help secure that sensitive information, and those measures are routinely updated in an effort to keep that data safe from prying eyes.
On a grand scale, nothing is completely secure and any network or system can be hacked, given enough time and manpower, so the risk is negligible. Think about it like your bank account, it's secure but the chance of identity theft is a real risk regardless of the measures taken to safeguard that information.
The cloud and security will grow over the coming years, and the 3DExperience has a jump-start.