Walls or Checkpoints of Interoperability?
The walls between GIS and CAD can be workflow, data structures, job descriptions and sometimes tradition. Removing walls can generally be considered a good thing. However, Sometimes walls are there for good reasons. Security, data ownership and quality are some good reasons for maintaining business practices that establish formal segmented workflows as safeguards. Rather than walls they may be considered checkpoints... (basemap extraction for context, data standards for design and attribution, translation for interpretation, and spatial analysis for QA/QC.) It is still important that data flow smoothly through the checkpoints without delays of ambiguity, inconsistency or incompatibility. However it is not always necessary or even desirable for everyone to have access to edit all the data in an enterprise, whether it is CAD or GIS-centric data.
Often in my work I strive to break down walls and give people more control and access of their data that is in both GIS and CAD formats. I think it is good from time to time to consider that many interoperability workflows function just fine with read/only access or one-way conversion. Breaking down walls can be the right thing, but sometimes I can accomplish the desired task by putting in a window, or a door that I can lock from the inside or the outside.