Mentions of cloud computing within the filings of companies in the railway industry rose 24% between the first and second quarters of 2021.
In total, the frequency of sentences related to cloud computing between July 2020 and June 2021 was 162% higher than in 2016 when GlobalData, from whom our data for this article is taken, first began to track the key issues referred to in company filings.
When companies in the railway industry publish annual and quarterly reports, ESG reports and other filings, GlobalData analyses the text and identifies individual sentences that relate to disruptive forces facing companies in the coming years. Cloud computing is one of these topics - companies that excel and invest in these areas are thought to be better prepared for the future business landscape and better equipped to survive unforeseen challenges.
To assess whether cloud computing is featuring more in the summaries and strategies of companies in the railway industry, two measures were calculated. Firstly, we looked at the percentage of companies which have mentioned cloud computing at least once in filings during the past twelve months - this was 39% compared to 18% in 2016. Secondly, we calculated the percentage of total analysed sentences that referred to cloud computing.
Of the 50 biggest employers in the railway industry, Korean Air Lines Co Ltd was the company which referred to cloud computing the most between July 2020 and June 2021. GlobalData identified eight cloud-related sentences in the South Korea-based company's filings - 0.4% of all sentences. Uber Technologies Inc mentioned cloud computing the second most - the issue was referred to in 0.3% of sentences in the company's filings. Other top employers with high cloud mentions included Sinotrans Ltd, Poste Italiane Group and XPO Logistics Inc.
Across all companies in the railway industry the filing published in the second quarter of 2021 which exhibited the greatest focus on cloud computing came from Uber Technologies Inc. Of the document's 1,237 sentences, six (0.5%) referred to cloud computing.
This analysis provides an approximate indication of which companies are focusing on artificial intelligence and how important the issue is considered within the railway industry, but it also has limitations and should be interpreted carefully. For example, a company mentioning cloud computing more regularly is not necessarily proof that they are utilising new techniques or prioritising the issue, nor does it indicate whether the company's ventures into cloud computing have been successes or failures.
GlobalData also categorises cloud computing mentions by a series of subthemes. Of these subthemes, the most commonly referred to topic in the second quarter of 2021 was 'software as a service', which made up 67% of all cloud subtheme mentions by companies in the railway industry.
By Andrew Hillman.