Quantum Computing has been a buzzword since the 1980s, but the last decade has seen companies trying to bring the idea to practical applications. In 2019, Google announced that it had created a quantum computing system that could perform complex calculations in a matter of 200 seconds. Same calculations that would have taken a conventional computer, years to finish. IBM conducted a similar experiment, with its own set of claims. However, who was right and who was incorrect is not the discussion here. What’s significant is a quantum leap in Quantum Computing – from theorized papers and concepts to feasible real-world applications.
A quantum computer uses the principles of quantum physics to exponentially expedite computing, leveraging a fundamental difference between quantum and conventional computers. Conventional systems operate on a binary scale and convert all input and output into 0s and 1s. Quantum computing operates on Qubits. In this system, a variable can take the place of 0 or 1. But, along with that, harnessing the superimposition principle, it can also take the value of 0 and 1 simultaneously. This intermediate state helps quantum computers perform computations at a much faster rate.
The quantum computing market is estimated to compound at a CAGR of 34% between 2018 and 2023. While that is a noteworthy forecasted pace, it does not tell the entire story. There is a lot more to the rise of quantum computing than meets the eye.
1. Controlling Qubit Interactions
Designed in a sophisticated manner, modern computing systems do not allow the operations of one Bit to interfere with the operations of another Bit, on the same chip. However, quantum computing systems work differently as the qubits interact with other qubits very frequently. These interactions make it possible for them to render results at a faster pace. Simultaneously, these can also cause significant resource mismanagement and volatility in results.
Companies like Google and IBM, as well as several startups, in the space, are working to solve the problem of volatility in qubit relationships, for businesses, to reap benefits from quantum computing systems.
2. Understanding the Relative Advantage of Quantum Computing
The underlying advantage is already quite apparent – quantum computers are faster than their conventional counterparts. However, there is a caveat. Quantum computers give outputs in terms of a range of solutions and not the exact solution itself. Conventional computing systems manipulate variables in a manner that allows them to provide a precise answer, even if it is relatively slower than a quantum computing system.
This difference does not render quantum computing systems useless. In fact, it points at the specific use-cases where such systems might be of great help. Any problem where the possible number of solutions is practically infinite or very large to handle can benefit from the use of quantum computing systems that can narrow down a range of solutions.
3. Four Areas of Implementation
Quantum computing will be able to solve real-world problems in four key areas – simulations, optimizations, AI, and prime factorization. Given their computing prowess, quantum computing systems can add more value to processes dependent on these four areas. Molecular structure simulation, high-speed multivariate problem solutions, more efficient ML algorithms, and more effective encryption systems are the applications that will benefit from these developments.
How to Prepare Your Business to Reap Benefits of Quantum Computing?
McKinsey forecasts that given the caveats of quantum computing, material benefits coming from such systems might not be tangible any time before 2030. However, instead of waiting through this time, businesses can take active measures to be ready to capitalize on the arrival of quantum computing systems:
Keep an eye on the industry updates, investments, and startup developments in the context of quantum computing in your industry.
Protect proprietary data and create analytics systems prepared to extrapolate insights from it.
Empower research teams to explore potential implications of quantum computing in the industry, product group, operations, and even within teams.