(DigitalToronto) Amazon’s move into quantum technologies indicated that Amazon believes it could no longer afford to be shut out of the ecosystem growing in the quantum technology arena. It believes that leveraging its strong market position in cloud services would be the best way in. Ecosystems are what really drive change. For example, for cars to be useful, they needed a basic infrastructure of roads, gas stations and mechanics. Digital computers needed more than just hardware, but also software developers, systems integrators and others to actually make an impact.
The purpose of Amazon’s service is not to do anything of any immediate practical value, but to allow “scientists, researchers, and developers to begin experimenting” with quantum technology. The companies providing the hardware, D-Wave, IonQ, and Rigetti, are themselves fledgling companies.
Amazon’s move highlights the importance of an ecosystem strategy. Amazon didn’t try to go it alone, but entered the quanatum tech market with partners (and other quantum companies such as IBM take a similar approach). In an ecosystem driven world, power doesn’t lie at the top of value chains, but at the center of networks and you get to the center by widening and deepening connections.