(ExoToday) Experts believe the world has entered into the Quantum Decade — an era when enterprises begin to see quantum computing’s business value. The advances in hardware, software development, and services validate the technology’s momentum, that’s paving the way for further breakthroughs in 2022 and helps prepare the market for the eventual adoption of this revolutionary technology.
Governments worldwide have committed over $25 Billion to quantum research and development. Tech majors such as IBM, Google, Alibaba, Microsoft Amazon, and other companies are in the race to monetize quantum computing as an everyday tool for business.
IBM for example, declared its plans to build a 1,000-qubit quantum computer by 2023, a first time ever in the tech industry.
Alphabet has built a 54-qubit processor Sycamore and demonstrated its quantum supremacy by performing a task of generating a random number in 200 seconds, which it claims would take the most advanced supercomputer 10,000 years to finish the task.
Alibaba’s cloud service subsidiary Aliyun and the Chinese Academy of Sciences jointly launched an 11-qubit quantum computing service, which is available to the public on its quantum computing cloud platform.
Not just big technology companies, well-funded startups have also targeted the quantum computing space to develop hardware, algorithms and security applications. Some of them are Rigetti, Xanadu, 1Qbit, IonQ, ISARA, Q-CTRL and QxBranch.
Researchers believe that slowly and steadily quantum computers will march into the enterprise domain, doing things that would have been otherwise unthinkable.
Quantum computers are ideally suited for solving complex optimization tasks and performing fast searches of unsorted data with the potential to bring disruptive transformation across sectors, including diagnosis, medicine research, distribution supply chain, city planning, traffic flow, energy optimization and many more.
Despite the huge leap, there are more practical challenges that need to be overcome before the technology’s large-scale impact is achievable. The biggest challenge is the availability of skills. Organizations need to invest in building quantum teams. Another challenge is the lack of awareness about the technology’s disruptive potential. Most industries have their own big, intractable challenges for which quantum computers offer potential solutions. So businesses in finance, energy, chemistry, AI, and other fields should get familiar with quantum computing, and identify business workflows, understand bottlenecks due to computational limitations – that can be addressed using quantum computers. “We estimate that there are only about 3,000 skilled quantum workers in the market today. That base needs to be doubled or quadrupled to exploit the full potential of quantum this decade and beyond,” Venkata Subramaniam, Senior Manager – AI Science and IBM Quantum Ambassador, IBM Research India, says.
Further development of the quantum ecosystem. This trend promises to continue into 2022 and beyond as quantum computing vendors progress towards quantum advantage and enterprise businesses seek a competitive advantage using current and emerging quantum technologies.
CIOs should look for potential opportunities from quantum computing and be ready to help the business leverage them. These opportunities will need to be fully integrated with traditional IT, and will require new cross-collaboration from research scientists, computational data scientists and quantum data scientists. This new development paradigm is critical to the success of any quantum program.
The time is now ripe for enterprises to start experimenting using quantum road maps to guide their quantum journey. As Subramaniam comments, “More and more companies today are realizing that quantum offers them an opportunity to solve tough unsolvable problems enabling them to gain a competitive advantage and any technology leader who isn’t actively building quantum into their plans risks being left behind.”