It makes sense that sci-fi-level myths might surround a technology that must be stored in a container colder than interstellar space and has the potential to solve some of the worlds most challenging problems.

CIOs have been inundated with quantum computing hype: Quantum computers will operate faster than the speed of light, or Quantum computers will replace conventional systems or Quantum computing will render all security encryption algorithms obsolete.

Quantum solutions could revolutionize the entire IT industry

The truth is that quantum solutions could revolutionize the entire IT industry with major economic, industrial, academic and societal impacts. But they wont operate faster than light travels or replace current computing systems, and although theyll challenge some security encryptions, they wont render them all obsolete overnight.

Quantum computing is heavily hyped and evolving at different rates, but it should not be ignored, says Matthew Brisse, VP Analyst, Gartner. It holds great promise, especially in the areas of chemistry, optimization, machine learning and AI to name a few. Todays data scientists simply cannot address key opportunities in these areas because of the compute limitations of classic computer architectures.

Taking the Quantum Leap: Fact, Fiction or Fantasy

Align quantum computing with business needs

Some of these problems may take todays fastest supercomputers months, or even years, to run through a series of permutations, making it impractical to attempt, says Brisse. Quantum computers have the potential to run complex calculations that classical systems could literally never complete. This potential for compute acceleration, as well as the ability to address difficult and complex problems, is what is driving so much interest from CEOs in a variety of industries.

Quantum computing is a type of nonclassical computing based on the quantum state of subatomic particles. Quantum computing is fundamentally different from classic computers, which operate using binary bits. This means the bits are either 0 or 1, true or false, positive or negative. However, in quantum computing, the bit is referred to as a quantum bit, or qubit. Unlike the strictly binary bits of classic computing, qubits can, strangely, represent a range of values in one qubit. This representation is called superpositioning.

Superpositioning is what gives quantum computers speed and parallelism, as each qubit can represent a quantitative solution to a problem. Further, qubits can be linked with other qubits in a process called entanglement; each entangled qubit adds two more dimensions to the system. When combined with superposition, quantum computers can process a massive number of possible outcomes at the same time.

The number of high-quality qubits necessary to make a viable quantum computer depends on the problem.

The ability for a quantum computer to outperform a classical computer is called quantum supremacy. While it may sound like a sci-fi dream, experts believe that for a limited number of computing problems, quantum supremacy will be a reality in a matter of years.

Applications for quantum computing will be narrow and focused, as general-purpose quantum computing will most likely never be economical. However, the technology does hold the potential to revolutionize certain industries. Quantum computing could enable breakthroughs by:

Researchers have shown how quantum computing could kill, or at least significantly weaken, current cryptography systems. If true, this would jeopardize any business that relies on encryption. If a sufficiently powerful quantum computer becomes available within 10 or so years, any data that has been published or intercepted is subject to cryptanalysis by a future quantum computer. Most security professionals speculate that quantum computing will eventually render RSA cryptography and ECC useless but will not be able to effectively counter hash, code, lattice-based or multivariate-quadratic-equations cryptography. Symmetric key cryptographic systems like Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), SNOW 3G, 3GPP and Kerberos are resistant to a quantum computing attack if they use a large-enough key size. The problem is, researchers keep coming up with new key cracking algorithms. For this reason, governments are investing in a cousin to quantum computing quantum key distribution.

Build the AI Business Case

A CIO’s guide to implementing AI in the enterprise

The physics, materials and control systems of quantum computers remain uncertain, but the potential for disruption is driving large organizations like IBM, Google, Intel and Microsoft to heavily invest in quantum hardware and software. Startups in multiple industries are emerging, alongside new skill sets from quantum algorithm experts and designers to quantum circuit engineers and applied physicists.

CIOs should view quantum computing as a competitive advantage, as new quantum-inspired algorithms could bring innovative solutions and approaches to product development. It could also reduce time to market and optimize customer delivery.

Additionally, waiting or ignoring quantum computing might place intellectual property (IP) and patent portfolios at risk. Early organizations will have the competitive advantage by patenting quantum algorithms within their specific domain. For example, a rival company could develop a quantum algorithm patent that improves Monte Carlo simulations by 1,000% or a pharmaceutical company could shorten the time to market for new drugs.

As with any new technological innovation, there is a risk that the hype outpaces product development, which could negatively impact perceptions and investments. In the case of quantum computing, this is called quantum winter. Hype in the media is creating awareness and advancement, but also setting unrealistic expectations for timing and capabilities. This level of hype inevitably leads to disillusionment, which is dangerous, as quantum computing requires sustained, focused investment for the long term.

The hype around quantum computing makes it interesting as an investment. However, the fundamental physics are still in development, and consistent results wont appear for at least 5 to 10 years and possibly much longer. Therefore, any investments made in pursuit of quantum computing opportunities must pay off in monetizable discoveries.

By 2023, 95% of organizations researching quantum computing strategies will utilize QCaaS

Logistically, quantum computers are difficult to maintain and require specialized environments cooled to .015 Kelvin. The quantum processor must be placed in a dilution refrigerator shielded to 50,000 times less than the earths magnetic field and placed in a high vacuum to 10 billion times lower than atmospheric pressure. It will also need calibration several times per day. For most organizations, this is not feasible. Gartner recommends that organizations interested in quantum computing leverage quantum computing as a service (QCaaS) to minimize risk and contain costs. By 2023, 95% of organizations researching quantum computing strategies will utilize QCaaS.

Overall, it remains safer to underinvest in the technology or to invest in skilled personnel who can be fully productive as product managers in revenue-bearing areas. As quantum computing opportunities arise, these product managers will have the skills to address them. Gartner has found surprising numbers of degreed quantum physicists in product management roles.

Gartner projections should be used to manage expectations inside the organization. Take this time to identify opportunities to provide support to clients or customers, or leverage industry breakthroughs. Consider looking to the R&D group for support and ensure you have access to a resource who can help you translate quantum technology into opportunities in your business.

By 2023, 90% of enterprise quantum computing investments will engage quantum consulting organizations to help shape problems that can leverage quantum algorithms. Knowing how to identify and extract business value from a quantum computing initiative is a key skill to develop. IBM, Microsoft and others have customer engagement services for organizations interested in identifying potential business opportunities that quantum computing could someday address.

Gartner predicts that by 2023, 20% of organizations will be budgeting for quantum computing projects, compared to less than 1% today. CIOs should look for potential opportunities from quantum computing and be ready to help the business leverage them.

By 2023, 20% of organizations will be budgeting for quantum computing projects

These opportunities will need to be fully integrated with traditional IT, and will require new cross-collaboration from research scientists, computational data scientists and quantum data scientists. This new development paradigm is critical to the success of any quantum program.

It is time to learn more about quantum computing.

This article has been updated from the original, published on November 29, 2017, to reflect new events, conditions or research.

More:

The CIO’s Guide to Quantum Computing – Smarter With Gartner

- Quantum computing could change everything, and IBM is ... - May 15th, 2019
- Quantum Computing - Intel - April 29th, 2019
- IBM expands universities in its quantum computing research ... - April 25th, 2019
- Quantum computing is a marathon not a sprint | VentureBeat - April 22nd, 2019
- This Startup Just Raised $21 Million To Bring Quantum ... - April 18th, 2019
- What is Quantum Computing ? Top 18 Quantum Computing ... - April 6th, 2019
- The promise of quantum computing - businessinsider.com - March 27th, 2019
- Quantum computing is coming: Heres why we need to get our ... - March 23rd, 2019
- Quantum computing will break your encryption in a few ... - March 21st, 2019
- Microsoft has formed a coalition to promote quantum computing ... - March 19th, 2019
- Quantum computing for everyone | Michael Nielsen - March 12th, 2019
- Ask a Techspert: What is quantum computing? - blog.google - March 6th, 2019
- IBM hits quantum computing milestone, may see 'Quantum ... - March 6th, 2019
- Its Time You Learned About Quantum Computing | WIRED - March 6th, 2019
- Microsofts quantum computing network takes a giant leap ... - March 2nd, 2019
- When Will Quantum Computing Have Real Commercial Value ... - February 25th, 2019
- The Case Against Quantum Computing - IEEE Spectrum - February 22nd, 2019
- How Does Quantum Computing Work? - ExtremeTech - January 31st, 2019
- Quantum technology - Wikipedia - January 23rd, 2019
- CES 2019: IBM's Q System One Is the Rock Star Quantum ... - January 13th, 2019
- Quantum Computing | The MIT Press - January 11th, 2019
- IBM thinks outside of the lab, puts quantum computer in a box - January 11th, 2019
- IBM unveils its first commercial quantum computer - January 9th, 2019
- A new type of quantum computer has smashed every record ... - December 21st, 2018
- China bet big on quantum computing. Now the US races to ... - October 26th, 2018
- US takes first step toward a quantum computing workforce ... - September 17th, 2018
- China bet big on quantum computing. Now the ... - money.cnn.com - September 17th, 2018
- The reality of quantum computing could be just three years ... - September 12th, 2018
- The quantum computing race the US cant afford to lose - September 3rd, 2018
- Quantum Computing | USRA - August 30th, 2018
- What Is Quantum Computing? The Complete WIRED Guide | WIRED - August 22nd, 2018
- Quantum Computing Market Research Report- Forecast 2022 | MRFR - August 1st, 2018
- Two Quantum Computing Bills Are Coming To Congress - July 5th, 2018
- Senate bills would make quantum computing a priority - June 10th, 2018
- What is quantum computing? - Definition from WhatIs.com - February 5th, 2018
- The Era of Quantum Computing Is Here. Outlook: Cloudy ... - January 26th, 2018
- IBM puts its quantum computer to work in relaxing, nerdy ASMR ... - January 8th, 2018
- Quantum computing is going to change the world. Here's what ... - January 8th, 2018
- Is Quantum Computing an Existential Threat to Blockchain ... - December 25th, 2017
- What is Quantum Computing? | SAP News Center - December 23rd, 2017
- Quantum Computing Explained | What is Quantum Computing? - December 21st, 2017
- New silicon structure opens the gate to quantum computers - December 14th, 2017
- Microsoft offers developers a preview of its quantum ... - December 12th, 2017
- Quantum Computing Is the Next Big Security Risk | WIRED - December 8th, 2017
- Yale Professors Race Google and IBM to the First Quantum ... - November 16th, 2017
- IBM's processor pushes quantum computing ... - engadget.com - November 16th, 2017
- Quantum computing - news.microsoft.com - November 1st, 2017
- Intel Takes First Steps To Universal Quantum Computing - October 13th, 2017
- Qudits: The Real Future of Quantum Computing? - IEEE Spectrum - October 13th, 2017
- quantum computing - engadget.com - October 13th, 2017
- Quantum Computing | Intel Newsroom - October 13th, 2017
- What will you actually use quantum computing for? | ZDNet - October 11th, 2017
- Here's what quantum computing is and why it matters - October 6th, 2017
- Microsoft just upped its multi-million bet on quantum computing - ZDNet - September 7th, 2017
- Microsoft's Aussie quantum computing lab set to scale up next-gen ... - ARNnet - September 7th, 2017
- An Entirely New Type of Quantum Computing Has Just Been Invented - Futurism - September 7th, 2017
- Quantum computing event explores the implications for business - Cambridge Network - August 30th, 2017
- Quantum Computing Is Coming at Us Fast, So Here's Everything You Need to Know - ScienceAlert - August 27th, 2017
- How quantum mechanics can change computing - San Francisco ... - San Francisco Chronicle - August 25th, 2017
- Commonwealth Bank investing in Australia's first quantum computer company - Which-50 (blog) - August 25th, 2017
- How quantum mechanics can change computing - The Conversation US - August 23rd, 2017
- Introducing Australia's first quantum computing hardware company - Computerworld Australia - August 23rd, 2017
- IEEE Approves Standards Project for Quantum Computing ... - insideHPC - August 23rd, 2017
- $495.3 Million Quantum Computing Market 2017 by Revenue Source, Application, Industry, and Geography - Global ... - PR Newswire (press release) - August 18th, 2017
- Physicists Have Made Exotic Quantum States From Light - Futurism - August 16th, 2017
- Machine learning tackles quantum error correction - Phys.Org - August 15th, 2017
- Quantum Internet Is 13 Years Away. Wait, What's Quantum Internet? - WIRED - August 15th, 2017
- Blind quantum computing for everyone - Phys.org - Phys.Org - August 12th, 2017
- Quantum Computing Is Real, and D-Wave Just Open ... - WIRED - August 12th, 2017
- Quantum Computing Market Worth 495.3 Million USD by 2023 | 08 ... - Markets Insider - August 10th, 2017
- China uses a quantum satellite to transmit potentially unhackable data - CNBC - August 10th, 2017
- Physicists Take Big Step Towards Quantum Computing and ... - Universe Today - August 1st, 2017
- Why you might trust a quantum computer with secretseven over ... - Phys.Org - July 12th, 2017
- Quantum-computer node uses two different ion species - physicsworld.com - July 10th, 2017
- Quantum Computers vs Bitcoin How Worried Should We Be? - The Merkle - July 10th, 2017
- Quantum cheques could be a forgery-free way to move money - New Scientist - July 10th, 2017
- Technique for measuring and controlling electron state is a ... - UCLA Newsroom - July 9th, 2017
- Quantum Computers Made Even More Powerful with New microchip generating 'Qudits' - TrendinTech - July 8th, 2017
- Quantum Computing Record Broken - Wall Street Pit - July 8th, 2017
- Alkermes and IBM's quantum computing. Who'll be the big winner? Malcolm Berko - Durham Herald Sun - July 6th, 2017

## Recent Comments