Quantum Computing for Business – Hype or Opportunity?

Quantum Computing for Business – Hype or Opportunity?
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by Sanjeev Kapoor 15 Sep 2022

The infamous Moore’s law lies in the observation that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years. In 1965, Gordon Moore published a paper that projected that the number of transistors would double every two years while the cost per unit would continue to decrease. Moore’s law has been dominating the computing industry for almost 60 years and no one who watched it being born could have predicted its huge impact not only on technology but also on economies, geopolitics, and philosophy. However, since 2005, Moore’s law, as originally expressed, does not hold. Computing power grows at a slower pace, which has led the technology industry to consider alternative ways for sustaining the growth in enterprise computing capacity. Recent research reports indicate that mainstream chip vendors are expected to run out of new chip designs in the next decade. This is one of the main drivers behind the emergence and the rise of enterprise Quantum computing. Quantum computing is gradually becoming a reality, yet it has been a dream for decades.


Introducing Quantum Computing

Quantum computing is a new computing paradigm that promises to provide extreme computing power. Unfortunately, despite several instances of successful quantum computation research over the past three decades, there are only a few quantum computers ready for enterprise use. This has created a controversy around the enterprise use of Quantum computing: Is it something that enterprises must seriously consider, or is it yet another overhyped technology?

Quantum computing is essentially the process of encoding information in qubits. Unlike the conventional binary bits (0 and 1) that exist in classical computing, a qubit can exist in multiple states simultaneously. Qubits are held in electron orbits around their nuclei. They are associated with quantum leaps, which occur when an orbiting electron makes jumps between energy levels. As per Quantum mechanics, electrons in confined spaces can exist in different states until they’re observed, at which point they collapse into one state. This idea is utilized by studying the ways electrons behave when confined together.

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Quantum computing harnesses the laws of quantum mechanics to solve problems too complex for classical computers. Although we are still in the ‘early days’ of this technology, there is enormous potential, as quantum computers promise to help solve problems beyond the reach of today’s biggest supercomputers. The time is here when a single computer can perform calculations that would previously have taken multiple years, not just more swiftly but also accurately.

In May 2016, the Quantum Manifesto was published and signed by over 70 companies and 69 leading experts. The impact of this manifesto was significant, making it clear that quantum computing and quantum technologies are coming, probably faster than we imagined.


Quantum Computing Use Cases

Nowadays, various enterprises in different sectors leverage Quantum Computing to boost their computational capabilities and increase their competitiveness. Specifically, the most common quantum computing use cases for modern enterprises include:

  • Effective Artificial Intelligence (AI) Systems: State-of-the-art AI systems (e.g., deep learning systems) process colossal amounts of data and require significant training times. Also, the timely convergence of reinforcement learning systems in robotics and gaming applications is hardly possible without adequate computing capacity. Therefore, Quantum Computing is used to accelerate the training and execution of AI-based applications, notably of deep learning and reinforcement learning systems.
  • Accelerated Development of New Drugs: The development of new drugs hinges on the design and execution of simulated scenarios that explore the impact of active substances on different patient phenotypes. Quantum computing accelerates the execution of such scenarios and the management of their outcomes, which is key to increasing the efficiency of lengthy and expensive biotechnology processes.
  • Real-Time Financial Modeling and Predictive Analytics: Banks, asset management firms, and other wealth management organizations need to execute portfolio analysis and risk assessment processes in real-time. For instance, during the opening hours of the New York Stock Exchange, they usually strive to predict market trends and their impact on their customers’ portfolios. Quantum Computing can significantly boost the efficiency of such assessment processes by enabling the analysis of large data volumes in short timescales.
  • Transport Flows Optimization: Quantum Computers enable the solution of complex routing optimization problems in multi-modal transport scenarios. In this way, they boost the efficiency of intelligent transportation systems typically used by smart cities, fleet management companies, and transportation service providers.
  • Weather Forecasting and Climatic Aware Risk Assessments: Accurate weather forecasts at various time scales require constructing and executing complex statistical models of climatic behavior. In several cases, they also integrate climatic parameters and downscaled statistical models to assess climatic risks accurately. These tasks can significantly benefit from the computational capabilities of Quantum Computers. The latter enables research organizations and related business enterprises to predict and anticipate the impact of climatic risks on their business processes.
  • Energy Efficiency and Recycling of Batteries for Electric Vehicles: Using Quantum Computers, battery manufacturers can execute power cellular simulation and condition monitoring processes for electric batteries. The latter boosts the efficiency of electromobility and provides opportunities for the effective recycling of aged battery cells. In this way, Quantum Computing holds the promise to make a significant contribution towards a greener and more circular economy.


As with many emerging technologies, several potential business cases for Quantum Computing have been identified. Examples include faster simulations for research or financial applications and the improvement of AI-based systems. It is likely that many modern enterprises will adopt Quantum Computing technology in the coming years. However, adoption rates will vary by industry. Companies with specific use cases for this technology will benefit from its potential. Regardless of which industry it caters to, Quantum Computing is a solution with the capability to drive better business outcomes. Nevertheless, Quantum Computing should not be adopted blindly but instead used for well-defined business cases with proven Return on Investment (ROI).

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