Filings buzz in the mining industry: 80% increase in cloud computing mentions in Q2 of 2021

Mentions of cloud computing within the filings of companies in the mining industry rose 80% between the first and second quarters of 2021.

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In total, the frequency of sentences related to cloud computing between July 2020 and June 2021 was 138% 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 mining 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 mining industry, two measures were calculated. Firstly, we looked at the percentage of companies that have mentioned cloud computing at least once in filings during the past twelve months – this was 31% compared to 12% in 2016. Secondly, we calculated the percentage of total analysed sentences that referred to cloud computing.

Of the 50 biggest employers in the mining industry, China Steel Corp was the company that referred to cloud computing the most between July 2020 and June 2021. GlobalData identified 16 cloud-related sentences in the Taiwan-based company's filings – 0.3% of all sentences. Honeywell International Inc mentioned cloud computing the second most – the issue was referred to in 0.13% of sentences in the company's filings. Other top employers with high cloud mentions included Orica Ltd, Tata Steel Ltd and Nippon Steel Corp.

This analysis provides an approximate indication of which companies are focusing on artificial intelligence and how important the issue is considered within the mining 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 'platform as a service', which made up 60% of all cloud subtheme mentions by companies in the mining industry.