Company ready to embrace new technology

Business leaders expect to see quantum computing commercialized within the next five years, a new study has revealed, with 61 percent of respondents saying they plan to invest $1 million or more in the technology within the next three years, and the 10% who plan to pump in more than $20 million in quantum resources.

IQM is building task-specific 5-qubit quantum computers for clients in finance and medicine, where it has advantages over classical machines today (Photo: IQM)
Quantum computers today are often task-specific with relatively few qubits, but they are growing at a rapid pace. (Photo by IQM/Shutterstock)

The research, conducted by venture capital firm OpenOcean, quantum computing firm IQM and technology investor Lakestar, polled 174 business leaders and found that they are investing now or planning to invest in quantum computing, and 70% are developing real use cases for the technology.

Quantum computing presents a potential paradigm shift in how we process information and could solve problems not possible with classical computers, but many experts say the point is still at least a decade away and requires millions of qubits or processing units. quantum. The fastest quantum processors available today have yet to exceed 1,000 qubits.

Investment in new quantum hardware and software is growing at a rapid pace, with money coming from both private sector investment firms and central governments eager to ensure dominance in the next generation of computing power.

Billions poured into quantum computing

A 2021 McKinsey study found that private investors invested more than $1.7 billion in quantum computing startups last year, double the amount raised in 2020, and a World Economic report Forum released in September found that to date $35.5 billion in public and private money had been poured into quantum technology.

“Apart from public funds (where China and the EU lead the way in terms of money employed), to date almost half of all investments in the sector have come from venture capital funds”, explained Ross McNaughton, partner of the law firm Taylor Wessing in a blog post.

“Of this, around 90% of that amount was invested in the planting and growing stages. The balance of funds comes from companies, other private sources, the angel investing community, and accelerators.”

Companies looking to bring quantum into their workflow over the next decade are also looking to invest heavily, with 28% of State of Quantum survey respondents planning to invest between $5 million and $20 million, and the 10% looking to invest more than $20 million in quantum.

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Industries such as cybersecurity, finance and healthcare are among the most likely to invest in technology and expect the most immediate return on investment.

That money is well spent, according to the new State of Quantum report, which states that: “As data on investment in quantum hardware and software increases, a thriving ecosystem of industry customers continues to grow – each party backing the technology to achieve commercialization in the next decade with significant R&D budgets.”

Despite the strong desire to invest in quantum technology, with 91% of respondents planning or already exploring use cases for the technology, “there is a fundamental gap between the speed and direction of development of quantum technologies and what that industry customers are ready and planning for,” the report said.

Goodbye CIO, hello chief quantum officer?

“The hype and exaggerated promises cloud our understanding of quantum technology. Many potential customers in the industry have heard of the technology, without ever gaining insight into its value to their business,” the authors wrote.

Many of the respondents felt the push for quantum adoption would come from the top, with 64% saying the role of Chief Quantum Officer will become nearly as important as CIO. The report’s authors wrote, “As boards evaluate the rapid advancement of quantum computing and the many opportunities it can offer their companies commercially; a dedicated quantum leadership position of a chief quantum officer will become essential.”

“Having focused leadership will be key to taking steps to address the quantum skills shortages that are holding back progress and building a long-term strategy for people to invest in and adopt technology.”

Problems finding people with deep understanding of quantum technology were cited as one of the biggest barriers to large-scale adoption in the report with 58% of business leaders surveyed confirming that a lack of in-house skills or a skilled workforce it is hindering the use and adoption of quantum and 76% agree that the skills crisis is causing a deceleration of innovation.

The skills shortage will need to be addressed quickly as 63% of respondents believe commercialized quantum computing will hit the market in five years and 90% believe their company’s operations will have been transformed by quantum computing by 2030.

Other areas of concern that tech leaders said were holding the quantum back included the overall immaturity of the technology, lack of development capabilities, difficulties integrating with existing technologies, and lack of adequate budget. There were also concerns about safety and concerns about actual performance benefits.

“There is a renewed focus on the need to support the development and advancement of full-stack quantum technologies,” the report authors wrote. “In addition to prioritizing software investments, industry customers in our survey view running quantum hardware as currently unaffordable for their operations, indicating the significant percentage of budgets needed to run quantum hardware.”

Markus Pflitsch, CEO and founder of Terra Quantum, wrote in the report that the solution lies in software with quantum software having the potential to grow and thrive as hardware improves. “Quantum hardware continues to scale, accelerating performance as native quantum chips begin to advance and eventually outperform simulated qubits.”

The challenge, he says, is to win over unconvinced potential customers who don’t see a future within their company for quantum computing, and says the solution is to present the technology in their own language, outlining ways it can lead to performance improvements .

Read more: IBM unveils quantum supercomputer that could reach 4,000 qubits by 2025

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