Is the power sector seeing the beginnings of a cloud investment boom?

The power industry is seeing changes in cloud investment across several key metrics, according to an analysis of GlobalData figures.

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The cloud is one of the key themes across global industries, with top companies around the world completing cloud deals, hiring for cloud roles and mentioning it in company reports at the start of 2021.

GlobalData’s thematic approach to sector activity seeks to group key company information on hiring, deals, patents and more by topic to see which industries are best placed to weather the disruptions coming their way.

These themes, of which the cloud is one, are best thought of as “any issue that keeps a CEO awake at night”, and by tracking them, it becomes possible to ascertain which companies are leading the way on specific issues and which are dragging their heels.

One area in which there has been a decrease in cloud investment among power companies is in the number of deals. GlobalData figures show that there were 16 cloud deals in power in the second quarter of 2019. By the second quarter of 2021, that number was three.

Hiring patterns within the power sector as a whole are pointing towards an increase in the level of attention being shown to roles related to the cloud. There were 2,749 actively advertised-for open power roles within the industry in the second quarter of this year, up from 1,204 in the same quarter last year.

It is also apparent from an analysis of keyword mentions in financial filings that the cloud is occupying the minds of power companies to a lesser extent.

The cloud was mentioned in 41 company reports of the biggest power companies in Q2 2021. This figure represents a decrease compared to the same period in 2019, when 139 industry filings mentioned cloud.

The cloud is decreasingly fueling innovation in the power sector. There were, on average, 32 power patents related to cloud granted in the second quarter of 2019. That figure has fallen to 12 patents in the last quarter of 2020.


GlobalData has compiled a list of top MNCs based on revenue. Any top companies that did not have a subsidiary were removed from the list. The latest company annual reports (2019 and 2020, where available) and websites were analysed for a total of 2,188 companies.

For a subsidiary to be included, the parent company had to have a majority ownership/control in the subsidiary. Affiliates, associates, joint operations and joint ventures were included as long as the ownership criteria was met. Subsidiary information was captured at a country level. Country names were standardised. In total, 216,898 subsidiaries were captured.