Many technology and business leaders are uncertain about what to do about quantum computing. They read the hype and it leaves them scratching their heads about whether they should invest now, or wait for the smoke to clear.
The potential for quantum computing to transform the way businesses use complex computational techniques to fuel more informed decisions is staggering–once quantum hardware can scale to handle it.
So, that begs the question, what should you do, if anything, with quantum computing right now?
Is Quantum Computing Ready Today?
First, let’s tackle the most obvious question. With all the transformational promise quantum computing is expected to bring, is it ready to tackle real-world problems today?
- Your supply chain optimization has become so complex, with such large variable sets and interrelated constraints, it’s nearly impossible to get a result.
- Today’s complex electronic interactions, combined with the vast number of devices, make security vulnerability assessment a complex target.
- On-time, fast delivery drives consumer buying decisions. Covid has geometrically increased the volume of orders and potential delivery options. How can you keep up?
These are the types of problems that quantum computing can and will solve. Easily. When quantum hardware is ready for production scale.
Vendors and experts all have different answers to that question. But all agree on this point: It’s not ready right now.
So, should you just wait until that time comes?
3 Ways to Make Your Business Quantum-Ready, Right Now
The power of quantum is obvious. The only question is, “How do you get there?”
That’s not a simple answer. It depends on where you are today, what computational problems you need to solve, your inclination toward risk (e.g., build vs buy), budgets and more.
That said, we believe there are three steps you can take, right now, to better prepare your organization to take advantage of quantum performance and accuracy.
1. Set the appropriate expectations for how you can and will use quantum computing.
First of all, recognize this truth. While it’s rightly garnering a lot of attention, quantum computing will not replace classic computing. They’re simply not designed to do what classic computers do.
Quantum computers are inherently designed to solve complex computations that require multi-dimensional analysis of diverse and changing scenarios, like a dynamic supply chain or logistics problem, cryptography & encryption, pharmaceuticals, finance and the like.
The best expectation for quantum computing, for the foreseeable future, is to view quantum computers as providing powerful assistance to classic computers for complex computations.
This means you need to focus on vendors and approaches that apply quantum to classical processing in ways that add value to your business, by improving the speed, accuracy and breadth of your results.
Understanding the appropriate role of quantum for your business or enterprise is an important step to charting a strategy for fast adoption when the time comes.
2. Evaluate how you’ll most effectively program quantum software applications
Here’s an important second truth. The software you have today cannot be ported to a quantum architecture.
As you would expect, given the dramatic differences in hardware architectures, quantum software requires a dramatic shift from classic software.
You literally have to create every single circuit, gate, algorithm, action and process using new quantum programming calls that are proprietary to each vendor’s QPU requirements, not to mention unique to the specific count and version of QPUs in the system, right now.
To prepare for this new way of programming, have your technical team review the quantum software development kits that are available today. They’ll quickly discover the new complexities in building software for new architectures from the bottom up.
Then, once they have a general understanding of the technical requirements and complexity of programming with SDKs, check out Qatalyst, our alternative to developing software for quantum architectures.
Investing in that discovery today will give you an early advantage in solving some of your most complex problems in the future.
This leads us to our final recommendation.
3. Begin to evaluate your business for problems that are the best possibilities for quantum.
There are specific areas where quantum can best help your business. One of the best places to start is where constrained optimization can bring significant value.
The classic traveling salesperson problem is a clear example of a constrained optimization problem, a perfect fit for quantum computers.
Supply chains are similar to this conceptual problem, and as such are a prime target since they are extremely complex to optimize. With the dramatic shift to online purchasing and shipping, that complexity is growing every day.
And don’t just think about the supply side of the equation. Every step of creating, stocking, selling, delivering and servicing your customers is part of the supply chain/logistics operation today. Especially the fast delivery times consumers expect.
The Bottom Line
Quantum computing will offer significant competitive advantages for the businesses that adopt it.
The good news is that you can act now to put your business on the fastest path to take advantage of it today. Qatalyst offers ready-to-run quantum software you can use today, even on conventional computers. Learn more about Qatalyst and how it can help you prepare for quantum performance advantage.