How Federal agencies can prepare for quantum computing

By IQT News posted 08 Dec 2021

(GCN) One of the top five priorities outlined in President Joe Biden’s infrastructure spending plan is quantum computing, which experts see as central to leapfrogging high-tech innovation and best positioning America as a technology leader.
As our country’s best minds come together to build this high-performing infrastructure, how can government IT leaders prepare for the age of quantum computing? This article looks into critical areas with a potential need for immediate attention.

The quantum security quandary
Perhaps the most significant area in need of a rethink is cybersecurity, specifically data encryption.
The intelligence community is so concerned about the threat that the U.S. National Counterintelligence and Security Center recently issued a fact sheet detailing how agencies can mitigate the risk posed by “strategic competitors” like China, who are developing quantum programs aimed squarely at U.S. cyber defenses.

Building a quantum-ready infrastructure

The current White House isn’t the first to tackle the quantum computing imperative. Biden’s plan builds on legislation and initiatives already in play, including the Quantum Network Infrastructure Act, which accelerates innovation in the infrastructure needed to realize the full potential of the technology.
What will a quantum-ready infrastructure look like? Beyond R&D investment in compute components, any large-scale technology implementation will require more cooling, power and transmission lines.

IT monitoring and management is about to change – in a big way
Quantum computing will also transform the future of IT infrastructure management.
with potential also comes risk. How do agencies scale the tools they use to monitor, manage and maintain today’s systems to a quantum-based infrastructure? Is it possible without losing some level of visibility? Researchers and government leaders will need a game plan.

The science is here, and agencies better be ready
Quantum computing is no longer science fiction; it’s science reality. Indeed, investment by Congress will continue to advance understanding across government and industry of the unprecedented opportunities this computational speed-up brings.
Reaching the point of large-scale production will involve trial and error. Establishing supply chains — infrastructure, network and security — for quantum computing is a formidable and far-reaching task. But we’ve been here before. The past 25 years are a testament to the leaps and bounds in technological advancements society can make. It can happen again. However, if the U.S. is to get ahead of its adversaries and seize the opportunity, the groundwork must start now.

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