While quantum computing continues to make strides, market limitations and technology exploitation are ongoing concerns
Quantum computing vendors continue to make major strides in the technology. Decoherence and qubit quality remain ongoing challenges for which vendors continue to research enterprise-grade workarounds. However, there are challenges facing the quantum computing market landscape that even the smartest physicists and engineers cannot counteract. The first is the looming skills gap that will exist when quantum computing becomes more mainstream. Many customers and vendors alike do not see quantum computing taking off in the near term, despite evidence to the contrary. As such, a majority of organizations are not investing in quantum capabilities, which will lead to a massive influx of demand for quantum-skilled workers once these organizations all begin to rapidly adopt quantum after an adequate number of proofs of concept have convinced the skeptics. Some skills can be retooled from existing capabilities, but others need to be taught through years of schooling. TBR believes this is an opportunity for professional services vendors such as Accenture and Atos, but also for quantum-centric vendors, to invest in the education of future generations. IBM recently announced education-centric investments in Africa, suggesting vendors are recognizing the skills gap that looms and the opportunity that will emerge by investing ahead of the curve.
Determining how to secure both quantum and classical compute instances against bad actors remains a persistent challenge. There are ways to mitigate this persistent threat by adapting cybersecurity capabilities, but the challenge is that, as with other skills shortages, many organizations do not believe this threat is close enough to worry about. Given that TBR research has shown it can take three or more years to adapt current security measures to be quantum safe, organizations, especially those with highly sensitive information in their possession, should begin to monitor this challenge.
The quantum computing market will achieve economic advantage in the next two to five years, one algorithm at a time. Once this is initially achieved, developments will be swift as customers are likely to find ways to repurpose existing algorithms for new uses. While quantum computing brings with it the promise of great, positive change, it also brings the threat of malicious players leveraging this technology for negative purposes, increasing a focus on quantum-safe security developments in line with quantum computing developments. The swift impact of quantum computing will be a key factor in determining who wins and who loses in this technological transformation.
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