Mentions of the internet of things (IoT) within the filings of companies in the power industry rose 12% between the second and third quarters of 2021. In total, the frequency of sentences related to IoT between October 2020 and September 2021 was 36% higher than in 2016 when GlobalData, from which our data for this article is taken, first began to track the key issues referred to in company filings.
When companies in the power 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. IoT 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 IoT is featuring more in the summaries and strategies of companies in the power industry, two measures were calculated. Firstly, we looked at the percentage of companies that have mentioned the internet of things at least once in filings during the past 12 months – this was 65%, compared to 53% in 2016. Secondly, we calculated the percentage of total analysed sentences that referred to IoT.
Of the 50 biggest employers in the power industry, Siemens was the company that referred to IoT the most between October 2020 and September 2021. GlobalData identified 186 IoT-related sentences in the Germany-based company's filings – 1.4% of all sentences. Tenaga Nasional mentioned IoT the second most – the issue was referred to in 1.3% of sentences in the company's filings. Other top employers with high IoT mentions included Enel, Saudi Electricity Co and E.ON.
Across all companies in the power industry, the filing published in the third quarter of 2021 which exhibited the greatest focus on IoT came from Siemens. Of the document's 3,472 sentences, 55 (1.6%) referred to the internet of things.
This analysis provides an approximate indication of which companies are focusing on IoT and how important the issue is considered within the power industry, but it also has limitations and should be interpreted carefully. For example, a company mentioning IoT 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 IoT have been successes or failures.
GlobalData also categorises IoT mentions by a series of subthemes. Of these subthemes, the most commonly referred to topic in the third quarter of 2021 was "smart cities", which made up 73% of all IoT subtheme mentions by companies in the power industry.