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February 4, 2022updated 01 Feb 2022 7:39pm

Cloud computing gains momentum in pharma filings with a 50% increase in Q3 2021

IQVIA referred to cloud computing the most compared to other pharma companies, as per filings data from Oct 2020 to Sept 2021

By Data Journalism Team

Mentions of cloud computing within the filings of companies in the pharmaceutical industry rose 50% 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 146% 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 pharmaceutical companies 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 pharmaceutical companies, 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 40% compared to 16% in 2016. Secondly, we calculated the percentage of total analysed sentences that referred to cloud computing.

Of the 50 biggest employers in the pharmaceutical industry, IQVIA Holdings Inc was the company which referred to cloud computing the most between October 2020 and September 2021. GlobalData identified 10 cloud-related sentences in the United States-based company's filings - 0.18% of all sentences. CSL Ltd mentioned cloud computing the second most - the issue was referred to in 0.15% of sentences in the company's filings. Other top employers with high cloud mentions included Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd, PRA Health Sciences Inc and Catalent Inc.

This analysis provides an approximate indication of which companies are focusing on cloud computing and how important the issue is considered within the pharmaceutical 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 third quarter of 2021 was 'software as a service', which made up 90% of all cloud subtheme mentions by pharmaceutical companies.

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