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February 8, 2022

Filings buzz in the aerospace and defence sector: 46% decrease in cloud computing mentions in Q3 of 2021

Mentions of cloud computing within the filings of companies in the aerospace and defence sector fell 46% between the second and third quarters of 2021.

By Andrew Hillman

Mentions of cloud computing within the filings of companies in the aerospace and defence sector fell 46% between the second and third quarters of 2021.

In total, the frequency of sentences related to cloud computing between October 2020 and September 2021 was 190% 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 aerospace and defence sector 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 aerospace and defence sector, 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 67% compared to 27% in 2016. Secondly, we calculated the percentage of total analysed sentences that referred to cloud computing.

Of the 20 biggest employers in the aerospace and defence sector, Thales SA was the company which referred to cloud computing the most between October 2020 and September 2021. GlobalData identified 47 cloud-related sentences in the France-based company's filings - 0.3% of all sentences. Leonardo SpA mentioned cloud computing the second most - the issue was also referred to in 0.3% of sentences in the company's filings. Other top employers with high cloud mentions included General Dynamics Corp, BAE Systems Plc and Leidos Holdings Inc.

Across all companies in the aerospace and defence sector the filing published in the third quarter of 2021 which exhibited the greatest focus on cloud computing came from Bharat Electronics Ltd. Of the document's 3,465 sentences, five (0.1%) referred to cloud computing.

This analysis provides an approximate indication of which companies are focusing on cloud computing and how important the issue is considered within the aerospace and defence sector, 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.

In the last quarter, companies in the aerospace and defence sector based in Western Europe were most likely to mention cloud computing with 0.11% of sentences in company filings referring to the issue. In contrast, companies with their headquarters in the United States mentioned cloud computing in just 0.06% of sentences.

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