Classical computing has bestowed numerous benefits to human society, from solving complicated analytical problems and creating self-driving cars to building the large hadron collider and doing space exploration. Nobody could have thought about such significant applications and benefits a century ago. Today, no industry or company in the world can even think of operating without using computers. The smartphones, microwaves, cars, and web apps that we use daily are possible only because millions of computers work in sync with each other. But now technocrats and scientists are talking about a thing that will revolutionize the world again. And this time, it will happen on a nanoscale. Quantum physics has opened a new dimension of possibilities and is ready to bring several applications that no one had thought of before.
This article will focus on quantum computing basics and what companies should do to get ready for it.
What is Classical Computing and what are its disadvantages?
First, let’s understand in brief what is classical computing. The bedrock of classical computing are bits — ‘0’ and ‘1’. They work as switches. If you assign ‘0’ as off, then ‘1’ means on and vice versa. So there is a certainty. By building on this concept, humanity has solved complicated mathematical problems that have helped us gain a deeper understanding of the world we live in and explore the unknown. It has given rise to businesses and industries that have filled our lives with comfort. But it has numerous limitations as well. For example, cybersecurity. You must have heard of countless online bank frauds, document duping incidences, ransomware attacks, and confidential information leaking cases. It’s becoming challenging to control such cyber-attacks and no matter how many precautions you take, there is a high possibility that you will land yourself in trouble sooner or later. Hackers are smart enough to identify the encryption key and break through the secured communication channel. So developing complex encryption models will not serve the purpose. Something else is required. Maybe a change in the laws of physics.
What are Quantum computing and Quantum entanglement?
Yes, you heard it right, but I am sure that you understood it wrong. Let’s start by understanding what quantum computing is. The backbone of this new field of computing isn’t based on the regular ‘bits’ but ‘qubits’ (quantum bits). Qubits are also made of ‘0’ and ‘1,’ but there is a catch. You can never be sure whether the qubit is ‘0’ or ‘1’. So instead of ‘certainty,’ you must talk in terms of ‘probability.’ The qubits can be locked in a way that they remain undetermined individually, but jointly they function in perfect sync. This process is called quantum entanglement, and it has numerous applications. Suppose you consider the cybersecurity issue that we were talking about above. In that case, hackers won’t be able to do anything even if they catch hold of the encryption key (until they learn to alter physics laws). It has various other applications in other industries as well:
1. Quantum computing is best suited to run simulations and tests for materials design and drug development. It’s because it runs on the same principles of quantum physics as the molecules it’s analyzing.
2. Quantum computing will solve challenges associated with quantum chemistry better than today’s fastest classical supercomputers.
3. Quantum computing will perform exceptionally fast searches on unsorted data. It will have significant implications in finance, health, and supply chain — critical areas where data collection and analysis are mandatory.
How should businesses get ready for quantum computing?
IT conglomerates such as Google, Amazon, and IBM are already working on quantum computing and are finding new and improved ways of using this technology. Here are few things that you should keep in mind for getting ready to adopt this technology:
1. Quantum security is the mantra
Quantum computing will revolutionize the data security domain by eliminating cybersecurity issues once and for all. But that requires investing in developing a robust quantum-secure infrastructure, planning resources, and developing quantum expertise. Companies shouldn’t wait for the day when quantum computers become as common as classical computers. They should start planning from today.
2. Brainstorm the applications of quantum computers and how they can help you.
Nobody ever imagined the impact of classical computers the way they did. The same goes for quantum computers. Much more research is indeed required in this field, but companies should start brainstorming the possible applications and benefits. Industry-specific quantum computing applications require much deliberation, collaboration, and tailoring as per industry needs.
3. Make an ethical roadmap
We live in the early days of quantum computing, but it’s essential to lay down the foundational stone for ethics. Modern-day technologies like AI, IoT, and Blockchain show the importance of ethics and sustainability and the underlying challenges of not using them responsibly.
Although quantum computing hasn’t found a solid ground across industries, it has a significant scope. As we discover more about quantum physics’ elusive world and learn to deal with quantum errors, we will develop many more useful technology applications. The time is ripe for industries, researchers, and global leaders to work together and create ethical solutions that benefit everyone.
Nishant Joshi likes to read and write on technologies that form the bedrock of modern-day and age like ERP, CRM, Web Apps, machine learning, data science, AI, and robotics. His expertise in content marketing has helped grow countless business opportunities. Nishant works for Sage Software Solutions Pvt. Ltd., a leading provider of CRM and Best ERP Software in India to small and mid-sized businesses.