Quantum Reality

Our Shifting Quantum Reality Mindset

Rebel Brown

Embracing quantum reality requires us to reset our expectations, since quantum computing is vastly different than classical. A quantum computer doesn’t process as a classical system. We need to adjust our expectations to embrace the diversity and accuracy of the results we receive.

Quantum computing will provide a hyper-specialized horsepower for analyzing and processing data to solve computationally complex problems. Pilots are taking shape today by using a combination of quantum techniques with classical machines. Value is becoming tangible even before “pure” quantum becomes a stable and sustainable reality.

For example, quantum computers return more accurate results. They also return a diversity of results, all of which meet the constraints/objectives of the specific optimization problem you’re solving. These diverse results offer insights that empower even better decision making.

It’s interesting to note the rapid change in perspective around quantum reality from business leaders.

  • In 2020, four of six tech leaders (67%) said no when asked if they expected quantum computing to have a significant impact on their industry in the next five years.
  • In 2021, a survey found 98.6% of respondents believe that quantum computing is a necessity and 95.7% believe that quantum computing can improve performance.
  • Gartner found that only 1% of companies actively budgeted for quantum computing in 2018.
  • In 2021, 61.9% of respondents report their companies already allocated a budget for quantum computing.

Our quantum reality is definitely coming. Sooner than we think.

The Shift Toward Quantum Reality

It wasn’t long ago that predictions of quantum technology in use was forecast out at least 10 years. That’s probably still the case for many “pure” quantum computations and simulations.

The advent of hybrid quantum/classical approaches, and the application of quantum-inspired techniques to classical computing, accelerate the timeframe for reaping value from quantum.

BCG estimates that value of $5B to $10B could start accruing to users and providers in the next three to five years if the technology scales as fast as promised by key vendors.

Practical use cases for hybrid approaches are popping up across a variety of industries that will complement the business processes of today addressed by classical computers.

Investors are showing their confidence with enthusiasm and could reach a single-year record of $800M invested in 2021, alone. The growth in optimism is evident when you compare that to the $89M invested just five years ago. (analysis by BCG)

Shifts in Perspective: From Classical to Quantum

Given the state of development in quantum technologies, uncertainty is a factor early adopters need to embrace. Before hardware can truly support a quantum reality, engineering challenges to overcome include scalability

Things are changing fast, yet there is no one clear path to your quantum reality. Not yet.

The truth is that most companies will have their own unique path to quantum value. But waiting for better quantum before that path emerges could cost your company early competitive advantage.

Quantum will complement, not replace classical computers.

Why? Because the best use of quantum is currently modeling complex calculations, such as solving optimization problems. Quantum computers do not perform traditional IT operations like processing database information and transactions, where classical excels. It doesn’t make sense to expect to replace classical with quantum computers for these prevalent applications.

Hardware ambiguity.

There are currently two main approaches to quantum computing; gate models and quantum annealers.

All QPU vendors require that you write low-level code to connect to their specific quantum platform, which results in vendor lock in for your quantum programs.  Placing a bet now on a specific hardware vendor is a risk that many companies are unwilling to make.

Which is why solutions like Qatalyst that seamlessly connect and process across diverse quantum computers are attractive.

Take an exploratory approach.

QCI’s Qatalyst allows you to explore running quantum algorithms on a variety of hardware to gain an understanding of advantages and limitations. You don’t need quantum programmers to spend months or years writing your program.

You simply run your problem on a QPU of your choice. No lock in, just results.

The Bottom Line

As confidence in quantum technology grows and milestones are achieved, the market will move quickly from exploration to value.

BCG is already estimating value across three stages of development, with the first stage reached before 2030, delivering an estimated $5B to $10B in tangible value for end users.

It’s prudent to start now. As the 6 in 10 companies already budgeting for quantum initiatives attest. Exploration is critical to define and embrace your own best path to quantum value.