IMA Executive News & Views Blog

Could quantum computing be the technology that drives your quantum leap forward?

by Prianka Srinivasan

EY is an IMA B2B Partner

Imagine electric cars that don’t need to be recharged for a thousand miles. Or discovering and taking to market the next big blockbuster drug that reverses the effects of Alzheimer’s disease ten years faster than anyone thought possible. Or creating a completely secure, unhackable means of communicating via the Internet. These are only a few examples of the possibilities that quantum computing could unlock for individuals, societies and corporations.

What is quantum computing?

Quantum computing seeks to exploit the behavior of atomic and subatomic particles to perform computation that is significantly faster and more efficient than the most powerful supercomputers available today. This dramatic acceleration could expand the scope of computing and in turn, reshape entire industries, economies and societies.

After decades of research, meaningful progress in the last few years has brought a basic form of quantum computing out of the labs and into the public realm, making it available via the cloud to anyone. This is a noteworthy achievement. As Andrew Fursman, CEO of 1Qbit, explains, “For the first-time people have succeeded at building very small rudimentary quantum systems that at least look like the components of more scalable architecture.”

The next revolution?

Does this mean we are at the beginning of a significant paradigm shift as revolutionary as the Internet or smartphones? Research efforts underway at technology companies, coupled with government-funded initiatives and a clutch of VC-funded startups has raised public hopes of an impending quantum revolution. However, experts agree that quantum computing is still nascent, with several engineering hurdles yet to overcome.

Given this backdrop, the challenge for businesses is determining if and when they should begin preparing for a possible — or probable — quantum-enabled future. And with significant implications for future national security and economic competitiveness of countries, governments will need to begin considering investments along with devising a national quantum strategy.

Those looking to maintain long-term strategic and competitive advantage will need to keep pace with quantum computing developments and engage with the budding quantum ecosystem. Leaders that begin building knowledge and testing the potential of quantum computing today will be best poised to take advantage of the incredible opportunities the technology promises to create.

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