Quantum technologies: companies need to prepare now

Research progress has accelerated in recent years, and quantum computation is beginning to emerge from the laboratory. Commercial applications are being tested and can see the light of day within 5 years! An impressive report from Capgemini takes stock of the consequences of the “quantum advantage” in various areas.

Quantum technologies are still in their infancy. But investors are already convinced of the promises of quantum technology. As a result, the funds raised by start-ups, both in France and around the world, are skyrocketing, according to a study by the private research institute Xerfi.

However, “Organizations are still in the proof of concept stage” reads the approximately 70-page report published in April 2022 by Capgemini, a world leader in consulting, digital transformation, technology and engineering services.

Justified “Quantum Technologies: How to Prepare Your Organization for a Quantum Benefit Now”This document is based on comments from quantum project managers within 857 companies, as well as about thirty managers, researchers, academics and venture capitalists.

As shown in the graph below, France has nothing to be ashamed of, as about a quarter of the French companies that Capgemini has surveyed rely on (or plan to do so) on quantum technologies. But the Netherlands and China are far ahead on the subject with almost 40% of the organizations integrating quantum into their projects.

On paper, these technologies could lead to a radical change in the way companies solve the problems of optimizing their supply chain (which has been particularly affected since the pandemic by health restrictions and lack of electronic components), mechanical simulation and data protection against hacking.

Quantum cryptography solutions have already been implemented. But many organizations working with quantum are waiting for standards to emerge before prioritizing quantum safety.

Quantum computers would also allow the discovery of light and robust materials or new drugs. As they become smaller, more energy efficient and cheaper, sensors can also play a transforming role across all sectors. They can accelerate measurement accuracy, especially in the healthcare / diagnostics, defense, automotive, civil engineering, construction, oil / gas, aerospace and cybersecurity sectors with the OpenQKD project.

For companies, the priority goal is not to miss the quantum train or risk being overtaken by competitors. Seven out of ten organizations surveyed in this Capgemini study acknowledged that due to long product development cycles, they need to integrate quantum technologies into their processes now.

“When these technologies are mature enough, there is likely to be strong competition for skills or resources. Companies that already have them in place are likely to gain a significant advantage over their peers.”emphasizes Capgemini.

Nearly half of organizations working with quantum technologies expect that they will be used in at least one major commercial application within the next 3-5 years.

The figure above shows four key areas where quantum technologies can help improve environmental sustainability. For example, electricity production accounts for 25% of greenhouse gas emissions, according to a study published in February 2022 by the US Environment Protection Agency (EPA).

Quantum computing can help simulate new photovoltaic materials that improve efficiency or reduce production costs for solar panels.

Although quantum technologies have been around for a few decades, the technology is still in its infancy when it comes to commercial applications. A bit like the internet in the 1980s and computing shortly after the invention of the transistor.

Once today’s hardware and software challenges are overcome, quantum technologies will have the potential to change the way we address some of our biggest business and societal challenges. But their real impact will only become clear over the next decade. And companies need to prepare for that now.

Leave a Comment