The concept of quantum computing was first introduced in the 1980s with an aim to develop a strong computational device that can outperform any classical computer. Over the last four decades, quantum computing has emerged as one of the most disruptive technological innovations, potentially creating new ways to approach computational problems. Based on the principles of quantum mechanics, it has the capability to tackle complex problems that might take days and years to solve even if the most powerful supercomputers available today are used.
Tapping the potential for best use cases
While quantum computing has the potential to help businesses solve problems that are beyond the reach of conventional high-performance computers, the adoption of this technology is still at a nascent stage. Having said that, sectors that are likely to be the early adopters of this technology would be manufacturing, auto, pharma, IT, and banking. Let us have a look at the potential use cases of quantum computing:
Banking and Financial Services (BFS) – Portfolio and risk management are the most potential applications of quantum computing in the BFS sector. It can value and analyze complex instruments, portfolios, and investments by simulating the various sources of uncertainty affecting their value and evaluating risks associated with them.
Insurance– Companies that implement quantum early on may gain significant competitive benefits in risk modeling accuracy. Quantum computing’s ability to accurately simulate risk scenarios, optimize portfolios and quickly through large unstructured dataset enables insurance companies with better fraud detection and mitigation capabilities. Quantum can also help in portfolio optimization, better option pricing and optimized currency arbitrage.
Travel, transportation, and hospitality– The logistics sector needs high computing power to process huge amounts of data arriving at high speeds and with a high degree of variability, so that supply chain planners can make informed decisions in real-time. Quantum computers’ inherent quality of superimposing and entanglement enables it to quickly evaluate large datasets than its conventional counterpart, which takes an impractically long time. Quantum algorithms have proven to be very efficient in scenarios like optimized route guiding, fleet management, scheduling deliveries, navigation, and supply chain optimization.
drug development The most difficult task in quantum computing is drug design and development. Typically, medications are produced by the trial-and-error technique, which is not only costly and time-consuming but also unsafe and difficult to finish. Researchers believe that quantum computing can play a major role in the drug development process. As a result of quantum computing, various combinations and permutations can be computed at an incredible speed. With such prowess, it can be a useful tool for the R&D of drugs and studying their effects on humans, saving drug companies a lot of money and time. Quantum computing could significantly boost efficiency by allowing companies to undertake more drug discoveries and develop novel medical treatments, leading to a more productive pharmaceutical industry.
automotive – Quantum computing to improve vehicle design and implement enhancements. Likewise, quantum computers can perform advanced simulations in fields, for example, vehicle crash behavior and lodge soundproofing, etc. Apart from that, it can also be used for supply-chain management, mobility, and traffic management.
Weather forecasting and prediction– Accurate weather forecasting is a difficult task that requires analysis of large amounts of data including a variety of dynamic elements such as air, temperature, pressure, and density. When creating numerical weather and climate prediction models, traditional computers and even supercomputers have their limitations. Numerous natural disasters occur every year; accurate and early forecasts of extreme weather may make it possible for targeted areas to be better prepared to minimize casualties and property damage. Quantum computing has the potential to improve tracking and predictions of meteorological conditions as it can process enormous amounts of data with numerous variables quickly and efficiently with the computing power of qubits and the application of quantum-inspired optimization algorithms. Quantum machine learning can also improve pattern identification, which is essential for comprehending the weather.
cybersecurity– With the enormous processing prowess associated with Quantum, the related issue is that today’s security algorithms can easily be broken using quantum computing. However, at the present stage, this use case of quantum threatening cybersecurity is largely hypothetical. But in the future, there is a need to come up with a new generation of security algorithms that don’t derive their strength from the fact that breaking them requires a huge amount of processing power. Rather, the new generation of algorithms would need to come out with a different mechanism that can’t be broken using quantum computing.
Because of its numerous traction applications, quantum computing is gaining around the world, including in India. It will be great to see businesses and governments collaborate to realize the full potential of this future-ready technology. Quantum computers will still have tremendous benefits soon even if the profound impact of large-scale fault-tolerant quantum computers is a decade away.
Assessing India’s position in the race of quantum
Looking at the growing relevance of this new age technology, the Indian govt proclaimed that quantum technology was a “mission of national importance” and has invested heavily in basic and applied research since then. As part of its efforts to control quantum tech, the Indian government has built institutions and programs. A common goal for the companies and the government is to commercialize quantum solutions with high-technology readiness in the next five years. According to a report by NASSCOM, India will invest $1bn over the next five years in various programs to advance its capabilities in quantum technology. The country is also expecting enterprise and start-ups adoption of quantum technology to grow significantly.
We are at the cusp of a quantum revolution and organizations must think strategically about the longer-term risks and benefits of quantum computing and technology and engage in a serious way today to be ready for tomorrow.
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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