Analyst firms are promoting the need for companies to start exploring a path to quantum now—or fear being left behind. But for many CIOs, investing time and resources into a technology that they believe may not be viable for a few years, is not a priority given an agenda full of initiatives to address the disruption of digital transformation.
That is short sighted.
In just this year, venture capitalists have invested more than $1Bn in quantum computing companies. Several of them have gone public, including IonQ, Rigetti Computing, and QCI made the move from OTC to NASDAQ.
Announcements are coming quickly about new developments and breakthroughs in quantum technology—both hardware and software. These include an increasing number of enterprise organizations who are actively creating their path to quantum using today’s quantum hardware, building expertise, and a plan for quantum value.
A recent study by Hyperion Research found that 62% of respondents say they have unmet computational demand needs of 25% or more of current total workload.
Respondents to this study ranked financial optimization (51%), manufacturing/factory processes (48%), logistics/supply chain problems (46%), and chemistry/materials problems (36%) as the top problems they think quantum computing can successfully address in their organizations.
And, 81% of enterprises actively exploring quantum computing say that they expect to deploy quantum computing to accelerate and increase optimization accuracy.
Why You Need a Runway to Quantum Computing
Quantum computing is a whole new paradigm. It has so much promise and we’re all learning quickly. Given the differences, quantum isn’t a change that you just jump to from classical. In fact, quantum will work with classical, not replace it.
That’s why hybrid architectures are top of mind and offer quantum value in a much more immediate time frame. Each are best suited to certain strengths in computing.
Even though quantum isn’t yet ready for production, the differences from classical computing are profound. This means that giving yourself a runway with time to explore and understand what’s possible—given your specific applications—will help you define your company’s path to quantum.
This industry is moving quickly, and the hype is deafening. It’s critical to break through the noise and test and learn what will produce quantifiable improvements for your operations so that you take productive steps forward to gain competitive advantage with quantum.
It’s also important to understand that quantum is about more than just speed.
Actions Companies Can Take Now to Prepare a Path to Quantum
Assess Your Supply Chain Optimization and Logistics Processes
The next thing to consider is where computational demand is limiting your ability to optimize your processes and logistics operations given the growth in data or the limits in computational power with your existing systems. It’s also important to think about all the options that you would like to optimize but don’t do today due to complexity and more.
For example, with only 15 destinations, the number of possible routes can exceed 87 billion. When you think about the growth in complexity for delivering thousands of online orders every day, the challenge of optimizing routes grows geometrically.
How are you going to identify the most efficient logistics including drivers, trucks, loading factors, and routes?
Quantum software that’s ready to run exists today. This allows you to explore what’s possible, more easily define and benchmark your best path to quantum, and even solve increasingly complex optimization problems better and faster using quantum techniques today.
Explore Quantum Hardware Options
Using ready-to-run software that’s vendor agnostic allows you the opportunity to access and use the power of quantum computers without the requirement for complex, expensive, and time-consuming programming.
Each vendor has its own SDKs. They are difficult to understand, much less use. For example, a key partner who is a PhD in theoretical physics took more than eight months to understand a leading SDK. Yet, with Qatalyst, he was solving complex problems within three days of installing it.
Today’s quantum computers require low level coding even more complex than the assembly code of the old days. This creates vendor lock-in and limits your capacity to easily experience solving problems on different types of quantum computers. You’d need to rewrite code every time you expand or change your system. That’s not helpful.
Eliminating that difficulty with quantum software that supports a variety of QPUs seamlessly means you can explore how quantum can help your optimization needs across a variety of platforms without lock-in.
The Bottom Line:
Quantum is here today.
Taking steps to prepare for quantum now gives you the runway to gain understanding of what problems in your operations offer quantifiable differences in outcomes.
We believe that helping Supply Chain and Logistics professionals to get better results today, while exploring a seamless, low risk path to quantum computing is a powerful way to accelerate, increase accuracy and deliver better optimization for inbound and outbound operations.