Why you should watch quantum computing technologies as digital leader

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According to IQD report [1], mention of quantum computing in the media has increased 64% year-on-year since November 2019, showing the increasing attention the technology is receiving. It’s also a trend that we have observed, with publications such as the Hudson Institute’s Executive’s Guide to Quantum Computing and Quantum-secure Cybersecurity, the CSA’s Preparing Enterprises for the Quantum Computing Cybersecurity Threats and the WEF’s Global Risk Report 2020 all looking to raise awareness of quantum computing among IT and cybersecurity professionals, as well as the C-suite.

In order to understand the exponential growing of the media & publications around quantum computing techs, it has been analyzed what is happening in the big tech companies in terms of quantum technologies [2]:

  • Microsoft: brings quantum computing to Azure to make quantum computers more widely available. Microsoft has announced that it will be offering its quantum computing services from the cloud. Described as “a full-stack, open cloud ecosystem that will bring the benefits of quantum computing to people and organizations around the world”.
  • Amazon: enters the quantum computing business too. Amazon Bracket service will provide access to technology from D-Wave, IonQ and Rigetti, with more vendors to come. AWS core team believe that, it is safe to say that most organizations will never own a quantum computer, and will find the cloud-based, on-demand model a better fit. It may well be the case that production-scale quantum computers are the first cloud-only technology.”
  • Intel: speeds up quantum development with Horse Ridge cryogenic control chip. The company took a step into enabling commercially viable quantum computers when it announced a first-of-its kind cryogenic control chip. Horse Ridge promises to speed up the development of full-stack quantum computers by enabling control of multiple qubits.

ITU [3] is actively covering how quantum physics will shape technology. From an interview made to Dr. Philipp Gerbert Managing Director & Senior Partner at Boston Consulting Group, he summarized: quantum sensors, cryptography (also known Quantum Key Distribution, QKD) and computing are the three major sub-fields of the technology; highlighting now it’s the time to invest in the intellectual property of quantum algorithms and placed importance on the development of new quantum algorithms, but maybe a common question arrived to this point is, why?

If we go to the general concept, Quantum technologies are based on the properties of quantum physics i.e. at the atomic and subatomic level. Consequently, they will be capable of solving problems far beyond the reach of today’s classical information technologies. In other words, quantum computing is called to break several limitations of the current AI-based solutions, cybersecurity, climate change or medical treatments, among other multiple applications that will directly impacted by quantum-based solution in the next decades.

qauntum_market
Quantum computing business values until 2035 (source: McKinsey)

But how big will the market in the next decades? A report published by McKinsey [4] predicts that Quantum Computing will have a global market value of $1 trillion by 2035. According to the report, Quantum computing is still considered a complex technology, but experts expect that pioneers in advanced industries, global energy and materials, finance and logistics might start generating significant value from quantum by 2025. The big payoff for pharmaceuticals may not come until the following decade, given that solving the most complex medical problems involves mimicking deeply complex molecules. As it can be seen in the following figure, according to McKinsey survey by the mid-2030s a wide range of industries will have the potential to create significant value from quantum computing.

We don’t want to conclude, without an especial mention to the quantum computing applications in the energy sector. The current approaches are focused on developing new energy solutions, improving energy efficiency, and reducing the use of greenhouse gases. The scale and complexity of challenges facing the energy sector go beyond modern technology and are well suited for testing on quantum ones. Recent scientific studies reveal the advantage of using quantum computing platforms to solve seemingly mundane problems. For example, allocating space for developing energy infrastructure or in committing quantity or units of electricity generation. Two clear examples were extracted from a StartUs Insights publication [5]:

  • JoS Quantum (German startup) develops cloud-based software solutions for energy asset management. The quantum-enabled algorithms solve complex issues for the energy sector involving risk analysis, portfolio optimization, and machine learning (ML)-powered enhancements. The company also provides research services to explore the potentials of quantum computing and quantum-inspired algorithms in the energy sector.
  • QC Ware (US startup) provides quantum computing solutions for optimizing energy utilization. Optimization and ML applications enable energy fault diagnosis, precise energy prediction, effective demand management, as well as asset risk analysis. The QC platform classifies data points using input datasets to carry out supervised learning. Later, it proceeds to execute these models on cloud-based simulators.

As probably you already figured out, the current quantum computing application market is still small but rapidly maturing one from the technology perspective. However, for quantum computing to succeed it needs the market in suitable applications to also mature. Nevertheless, quantum computing scientists believe will become mainstream in the next decades, so our advice to you as digital leader, keep watching the advances of the quantum computing applications in the 2020s in order to be ready for the 2030s and beyond!

In future posts, we will be continue writing about technology and business trends for enterprises. Furthermore, we recommend consulting the following literature to continue your digital transformation journey:

The objective of this blog is to provide a personal vision of how digital transformation trends will be impacting in our daily activities, businesses and lifestyle.

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[1] https://www.idquantique.com/quantum-technologies-identified-as-a-major-trend-for-2020/

[2] https://www.idquantique.com/quantum-computing-industry-review-q4-2019/

[3] https://news.itu.int/the-next-big-leap-how-quantum-physics-will-shape-technology/

[4] https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/mckinsey-digital/our-insights/a-game-plan-for-quantum-computing#

[5] https://www.startus-insights.com/innovators-guide/top-10-energy-industry-trends-innovations-2020-beyond/

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