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Proof of concept for quantum computers is here. Many businesses are getting ‘quantum ready’ — that is, exploring how this technology can give them a competitive edge.
work for a Quantum Computation company, I would of course say that getting ready for quantum is a wise move. But like we’ve seen with things like AI and cloud computing, forward-thinking businesses are often the early ones reaping the rewards of such technical innovations.
But quantum computing is different. It’s not just another technical innovation, but a whole new way to perform future calculations.
quantum computers work in a fundamentally different way from today’s computers. Whereas traditional machines use ‘bits’ as 0s or 1s, the quantum bits (qubits) of a quantum computer can exist in superposition and effectively be 0 and 1 at the same time.
This quantum oddity unleashes vast amounts of computing power, allowing us to solve a whole new set of problems that today’s supercomputers would take billions of years to solve.
As quantum computers mature, a large number of applications will be unlocked across many industries in everything from Research and make medicine financial services and climate change. And most of these use cases we can’t yet imagine.
That’s also why it’s important for businesses to start interacting with quantum computing now. Because by being ‘quantum ready’, the world can understand the real impact these machines have on society. And you can begin to understand and prepare for the potentially significant impact this disruptive technology will have on your business.
What is quantum readiness?
Quantum readiness is effectively understanding the opportunities and threats of Quantum Computation and learn how to use this technology to your advantage.
Are you quantum ready? Not which means you need to understand everything about quantum computers or have your own.
Quantum readiness will vary for different organizations, depending on your process, requirements, and industry.
A high-level quantum readiness framework may include the following steps:
- Learn and access: Get a high-level view of where quantum is and where it’s headed. Start establishing both your internal champions and engage with quantum companies to find the right partners for you.
- Mapping your computational impact landscape: For many, the journey involves understanding your current computing challenges. What does your problem landscape look like? Diagram your computational challenges for “organizational impact” and “computational difficulty”. Are there any high-value but hard-to-calculate challenges for your company? These problems may be relevant to quantum computers. Collaborate with quantum experts to map this to quantum computing capabilities. Consider contacting quantum computing companies to learn more about what’s possible and help with this mapping exercise.
- Skill building: Quantum internal capacity building aligns with business opportunities in this area. Or rent time on today’s small-scale machines to start solving toy problems and understanding how these machines work.
- Patient: Commit to prolonging the development of quantum computers and reap the rewards as quantum computers become more powerful.
Once this initial phase of discovery is complete, really interesting conversations around quantum computing can begin.
A lot of work needs to be done between industry end users and quantum company to prepare for the world of quantum computers. Importantly, this should be done in tandem with the actual development of these machines.
Get ready for the future
There’s one issue that’s particularly important to understand to secure your quantum strategy in the future: scalability. Over the past few years, quantum computing companies have had great success developing their machines qubit-by-qubit.
Every step is important. But to unlock the commercial potential of quantum computing, we need to build a machine with millions of qubits. The largest machine today has 127 qubits.
So when you start reaching out to quantum computing companies, there is always a question that arises: “can you really? take me to a million qubits?” Because it takes long-term, “million qubits” thinking to make sure you protect every investment in this technology.
It is important for businesses to understand this and work with a company that aligns with this ambition. Because when the quantum computer is ready, you need to be ready too.
Ilan Elson is an executive vice president at Cosmic Quantum.
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