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Quantum Computing: Should It Be on the Strategic Computing Roadmap?

Quantum computing is far from a mature technology, but now is the time to enshrine it in strategic computing roadmaps.

as much as a computer
Image: Bartek Wroblewski/Adobe Stock

Quantum computing is defined by NASA as a phenomenon “where a particle can be in many different states at once” due to quantum entanglement. If you’re looking for more quantum computing terms, the experts at TechRepublic Premium have put together a glossary with all the definitions you’ll need.

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Why is quantum computing important in computing and in areas such as analytics and AI?

In the classical computers that everyone uses, the bits processed can be 1 or 0. In quantum computing, where bits are replaced by qubits, the individual values ​​of the qubits always come out as a 1 or a 0; however, the difference is that any qubit can represent a different outcome based on a unique combination of events experienced by only that qubit.

For example, the world has both a south pole and a north pole. In this sense, the world is a binary pattern that a typical computer binary process will represent either as a 0 (north) or as a 1 (south). Between these two polar points there are many events and points along the trajectory that a bit can also represent theoretically.

Qubits are able to capture these individual points between the poles based on the events and conditions that each qubit encounters during processing. For this reason, quantum computing can offer many different possibilities for solving a problem. These diverse possibilities lead to unique business opportunities.

An example that I often use relates to purchasing habits. A British retailer wanted to know why e-commerce sales increased on Sunday afternoon. The normal marketing analysis approach was to analyze where the activity came from, what the demographics of the shoppers were, what types of items were purchased, etc.

Somewhere along the way, a correlation between housewives’ purchases while their husbands attended football games was discovered. This was an unlikely correlation that someone with advanced analytical skills could identify, but it would have been a probable correlation if a quantum computer had been used.

Why? Because the qubit processing of the quantum computer would have automatically identified many possibilities for women shopping on Sundays and for the activity of their husbands. Football attendance would probably have been one of them.

Where quantum computing is used today

Quantum computing is a nascent field. Few companies consider buying quantum computers, but some companies are starting to use them for competitive advantage. For this reason alone, quantum computing should have a place in strategic IT roadmaps.

Financial services institutions like banks and brokerages are beginning to experiment with quantum computing as a way to process large volumes of financial transactions faster. Quantum computing can also be used for financial risk analysis, as financial services companies use quantum computing for fraud detection.

Quantum computing can be used to determine global supply chain risks such as weather, strikes and political unrest, with a view to eliminating supply chain bottlenecks before they do arise.

Pharmaceutical companies are experimenting with quantum computing as a way to assess the viability of new drug combinations and their beneficial and harmful effects in humans. The objective is to reduce R&D costs and accelerate the marketing of new products. They must also adapt the drugs to the situation of each patient.

Moreover, in the automotive industry, quantum computing is used for the design of autonomous vehicles. Utilities are also beginning to use quantum computing for the design and delivery of efficient energy systems.

If you pick up your smartphone in the morning and check the weather, chances are you’re already using quantum computing, which is widely used in weather forecasting.

Quantum computing and your company’s strategic IT plan

Even if you’re a very small business and don’t plan to implement quantum computing in your own operations, you’ll likely benefit in the form of cloud services that process big data and assess financial and cybersecurity risks. .

It makes sense to put quantum computing on your strategic IT roadmap because it will change the way you do business, even if you only use it as an outsourced service. You will also need to explain quantum computing to your board and stakeholders, who will want to know how quantum computing is being deployed in your business.

For companies in industry verticals such as hospitality, life sciences, pharmaceuticals, retail, finance, product engineering and manufacturing and public sector, IT quantum is likely to occupy a central role as it takes over from classical computing systems to run core applications.

As quantum computing assumes a more central role in computing, the IT strategic roadmap should track its progress and the resulting benefits.

The experts at TechRepublic Premium have gathered research on quantum computing to help your business start adding it to your IT strategy.

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