Although it is still at an early stage, there is no doubt that the quantum computing revolution is coming fast around the corner. All industries have serious gains to be made. Lets explore more.
What is Quantum Computing?
Quantum computing attempts to solve what traditional computers have yet to work out. According to a 2017 Forbes article, quantum computers solve what are known as intractable problems or NP hardness. These are the problems that are too complex, powerful and time-consuming for traditional computers to tackle.
On a scientific level, quantum computers work within the world of atomic particles and subatomic particles. In this world, the particles exist in multiple states at a time – allowing a quantum computer to operate in those same multiple states. This goes beyond the laws of physics and operates on a a different state of time that we exist within. It’s easy to immediately feel confused by this concept because as human beings we don’t know what it’s like to exist in multiple states of time.
“A quantum computer with only a few hundred qubits in the correct configuration could answer problems in minutes. Whereas modern machines with billions of classical bits would be unable to solve the same problems if you gave them all the time in the universe!” Andrew Fursman, CEO of 1QBIT.
Why Does It Matter?
There are various reasons why quantum computers are needed:
It matters because our world is becoming more about ones and zeroes through all the data that is collected across every device we use, including our mobile devices and connected devices. Traditional computers are struggling to keep up with this data.
Chip experts and computing scientists predict the end of Moore’s Law – a trend which has driven technological growth since the 1970s. This term states that every 18 months the number transistors of transistors that can be squeezed into a computing chip doubles while costs halve. The problem we are facing is that the classical transistor is reaching the size of the atom.
Then there is also the growth we’ve seen in blockchain and cryptocurrencies, both of which require significantly more processing power and the ability to scale up for further growth in this area.
Also, quantum computers can factor huge numbers, which make it ideal for improving internet security. Until that happens, these applications may not be able to progress to their full potential.
Additionally, there is more awareness of the critical need for energy efficiency. Traditional computers do not provide the best energy efficiency. And, if relied on for future needs, they will provide a significant drain on our natural resources.
Lastly, the Semiconductor Industry Association have predicted we will no longer have the power bandwidth to keep all the computers around the world running by 2040. Yet if we can develop quantum computers on a commercial scale, we can address all of these issues.
A Place For Quantum Computing In Business
While it’s not like everyone in business will need a quantum computer on their desk, there are many applications that this technology will help propel across industry verticals, including energy, cyber security, machine learning and finance.
Energy: Quantum technology has already been put to work in certain devices, including flash memory found in smartphones and other mobile devices. It has also improved MRI machines and barcode readers. This is just the beginning. That’s because Market Research Media forecasts that quantum computing will be worth about $5 billion by 2020.
Security: Every business is struggling with how to increase their online and mobile security measures to protect our digital identities and sensitive data. Encryption has been an area of security that has continued to develop, and thanks to quantum computing, it could finally really protect all of our assets. The problem to date has been that regular computers cannot use large prime number factorization. Yet quantum computers can, which means that a hacker could not use traditional computers to break the encryption codes.
Data Analytics: Then there is the help that quantum computing can deliver to data analytics. Here, quantum computers can undertake very complex calculations and simplify them down as well as tack huge data problems easily. This can be applied to all types of industries, including airlines, retail, manufacturing and many more. For example, NASA has incredible amounts of data that can be analyzed through quantum computing to deliver effective and safer space travel.
Finance: Also, with so much rapid change occurring because of the speed of technological change and the exponential growth in data, forecasting has become a vital process for many types of businesses. Being able to conduct more simulations at a faster rate is just not possible with traditional computers. However, it’s a relatively simple task for a quantum computer. This can help create better financial forecasts as well as direct how resources and time are allocated for all types of products and services.
Government: Similar to forecasting, quantum computing can identify patterns in data that can be used to better inform governments to plan for traffic flow and population growth as well as predict consumer behaviors. These patterns can be found in all types of data, including decades of data related to scientific research. The findings can uncover insights that were previously undiscovered and could change how services are delivered in terms of preventative health measures and faster discovery of new pharmaceutical solutions.
The Future For Business
Quantum computing represent a completely new paradigm in computing and many future applications for industry are only now becoming apparent.
The more cases that can be made for it in terms of showing its use in energy, finance, forecasting models, patterning consumer behaviour and operating self-driving vehicles, the better we can understand how organisations can use quantum computing for specific benefits.
Right now, I see applications related to how we can use blockchain more effectively for our transaction processes and as a means for improving the level of security we provide small business clients. Like numerous other types of technology, quantum computing appears to be on the cusp of creating a disruption across industries, applications and processes.
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Source Reference: Forbes