Early technology adopters are more likely to gain better business results, including higher revenue growth and market position. With businesses facing complex problems every day, it is no doubt that they are always watching out for the next big tech that offers a better solution.
Although still in its infancy stages, quantum computing is a technology whose commercial use will disrupt the business environment.
What is Quantum Computing?
Quantum computing is a technology that focuses on manipulating and controlling different laws of physics. This non-classical technology uses quantum mechanical concepts like superposition and quantum entanglement.
The idea of quantum computing is not new and has come a long way. The first algorithm of large integer factorization for quantum computing was introduced in 1994. This algorithm intended to reduce the time it would take classical computers to find the prime factors of large numbers. It’s worth noting that the majority of the current infrastructure for encryption and information security is built on prime factorization.
Since the first algorithm was developed, more technological advances have been reported, and the field is continuously receiving funding. According to the McKinsey & Company Quantum Technology Monitor, funding from private and public sectors for this new technology is skyrocketing worldwide.
How it Works
Unlike classical computing whose information is encoded by bits, in quantum computing a qubit is the basic unit of quantum information. Qubit allows all combinations of information to exist simultaneously so that quantum computers can solve problems exponentially faster and with less energy consumption than classical computers.
In 2019, Google, in partnership with NASA, achieved quantum supremacy by demonstrating that quantum computers can compute in seconds what would take advanced supercomputers thousands of years.
Advanced development in this technology has also seen the introduction of quantum-computing cloud infrastructure through Quantum as a Service (QaaS). QaaS provides access to quantum computing platforms over the internet to customers. Major technology companies, such as Amazon, Alibaba, IBM, Google and Microsoft, have already launched commercial cloud services for quantum computing.
With the continued increase in the quantum computing ecosystem and emerging business use cases, business leaders must stay aware and prepare to adopt the new technology.
Business Use Cases for Quantum Computing
1. Quick Data Analytics
Today more than ever, businesses are faced with big data and a large quantity of information requiring analysis and storage. Since classical computers are built to solve one task at a time, it takes longer to solve these complex problems.
However, quantum technology has the potential to turn complex computations into simple calculations that are solved in less time.
2. Optimize Investment Strategies
Optimization is all about finding the most ideal solution in a situation. When many options are available, it takes a classical computer a long time to find a solution. Therefore, classical computers use shortcuts, and the final solution is partly optimal. But, with quantum computing, there will be better optimization.
3. Better Forecast and Prediction
Businesses rely on forecasts and predictions generated after analyzing complex and large data sets. Quantum computing is built to process huge amounts of data quickly and more accurately. As a result, better forecasts and predictions will enable better decision-making.
4. Solve Problems With Financial Services
There are various computationally intensive jobs in finance that could be facilitated by quantum computing, such as credit-risk management, financial crime reduction and trading strategy optimization. These tasks will greatly benefit from quantum algorithms that increase the speed of financial calculations.
5. Improve Data Security
Quantum computers are built to break encryptions that ordinary computers cannot. This might become a problem if hackers were to acquire encrypted data and store it until large-scale quantum computers are operational. To handle this problem, postquantum cryptography, a type of cyber security that can be used by conventional computers, is currently being developed. Therefore, a switch to quantum-resistant cryptography will prevent the possibility of data being exposed. At the same time, it will ensure better protection of digital assets.
Quantum computers will not replace classical computers; however, the two will form a hybrid solution whereby each task will be assigned to the most suitable machine – either quantum or classical.
Achieving the aforementioned benefits will require businesses to have teams of experts who are knowledgeable about the implications of quantum computing and who can recognize the company’s potential future needs, opportunities and vulnerabilities.
With signs of commercial quantum computing becoming a reality, it’s not too early for business leaders to consider how it will encourage digital investment, reshape industries and ignite innovation. Therefore, having a thorough understanding of quantum applications is essential for positioning a business to gain a competitive edge.