San Rafael, California
Overall Rank: 13
Category: Business Processes
Category Rank: 5
- Top Software Company of 2021
Autodesk is an American multinational corporation that makes specialized software for industries including architecture, engineering, construction, manufacturing, entertainment, and media. The last 19 Academy Award winners for Best Visual Effects have used Autodesk software to create their movie magic. Since its 1982 launch, Autodesk continues to develop the broadest portfolio of 3D software for global markets.
For years Autodesk’s flagship product AutoCAD has been used by top brands such as Tesla. Architects, structural designers, and engineers have all relied on AutoCAD for designing, drafting, and modeling structures. The popular product has seen 31 versions since it was introduced in 1982, meaning it has been around even longer than Microsoft Windows. Over the years, the company has expanded its portfolio of computer-aided design (CAD) software. With over 90 products to choose from, Autodesk has established itself as a leading presence in the global CAD industry.
In March 2021, Autodesk finalized the acquisition of Innovyze, a water-systems software company, for $1 billion in cash. Fortunately, the company’s coffers run deep: at the end of October 2020, Autodesk had $1.5 billion in cash. As of June 2021, the firm boasts a market capitalization of $61 billion.
This computer-assisted design software is made for engineers, architects, and construction personnel that need responsive, accurate programming to render 2D and 3D drawings. AutoCAD is able to save crucial time by automating tasks like drawing comparisons, adding blocks, creating collaboration schedules, and rote counting. The capability for customization is practically endless, with a host of add-on apps and APIs available.
Revit Building Information Modeling software increases efficiency and veracity for entire project lifecycles — from conception and visualization to fabrication and construction. This software can take away some of the design nitty-gritty by automatically updating elevations, sections, or entire floor plans as the user’s model progresses. By managing the routine elements of building processes, Revit lets users concentrate on big-picture thinking and tackle more projects.
Autodesk’s Inventor CAD software gives users a professional-level 3D documentation, product simulation, and mechanical design toolkit so they can streamline work processes with a mix of parametric, direct, and rules-centric design functionalities. Powered by iLogic, this software features specialized tools for the design process such as sheet metal, frame design, tube, and pipe materials. With Inventor API, users can create customized add-ins.
This toolset helps create premium designs with total artistic authority always at the user’s fingertips. 3ds Max is able to construct enormous in-game worlds and render characters into life with animation and VFX capabilities. An intrinsic feature known as Arnold renderer deepens the experience by handling code-heavy characters, effects, and images. Much like Autodesk’s other products, 3ds Max can cut schedules down by providing centralized creative controls for light mixing, lens effects, and color correction on rendered images.
Autodesk’s planet-conscious achievements include reaching net-zero for greenhouse gas emissions for its business and value chain and purchasing 100% renewable energy for facility and work-from-home energy consumption. The company’s real estate dealings also run on 100% renewable energy — its 15 Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certifications cover 25% of total square footage.
The company has pledged to reduce Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 50% in 2031, and by the same year reduce Scope 3 GHG emissions per dollar of gross profit by a 25% minimum. In fiscal year 2021, Autodesk invested more than $1 million in six projects that neutralized 126,00 metric tons of CO2e emissions.
The Autodesk Foundation, founded in 2014, contributes risk capital to social impact startups and nonprofits via investments and grant funding. This funding is meant to help those organizations scale viable technologies/solutions in the interest of greenhouse gas emission reduction and equality initiatives.
In 2020, the Autodesk Foundation donated over $300,000 to frontline organizations advocating racial justice, the end of police brutality, and equality for Black, Asian, and Pacific Islander communities.
Diversity & Inclusion
The Board of Directors at Autodesk is approximately half women, and the entire executive team is 45% female. By the end of fiscal year 2024, the company hopes to have increased the number of women in tech and sales roles by 25%. By the same time, employees who are underrepresented should see a 40% increase, and people of color 30%. Autodesk has also committed to an overall increase of Black and Latinx leadership designations by 300%.