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Coming soon to your business – Quantum computing


Early adopters of quantum’s unique ability to solve certain types of problems may achieve breakthroughs that enable new business models.

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Quantum computing is nearing a phase of commercialization that may change our world. Visionary organizations are already aligning with the emerging quantum computing ecosystem to become “quantum ready.” These forward-thinking enterprises are exploring use cases and associated algorithms that address complex business problems.

Quantum computing takes advantage of the laws of quantum mechanics found in nature and represents a fundamental change from classical information processing. As future quantum computers can calculate certain answers exponentially faster than today’s classical machines, they will enable tackling business problems that are exponentially more complex.

Despite classical computers’ limitations, quantum computers are not expected to replace them in the foreseeable future. Instead, hybrid quantum-classical architectures are expected to emerge that “outsource” portions of difficult problems to a quantum computer.

Quantum computing appears set to potentially transform certain industries. For instance, current computational chemistry methods rely heavily on approximation because the exact equations cannot be solved by classical computers. But, quantum algorithms are expected to deliver accurate simulations of molecules over longer timescales, currently impossible to model precisely. This could enable life-saving drug discoveries and significantly shorten the number of years required to develop pharmaceuticals.

Precisely when quantum advantage will occur for a specific use case is uncertain, causing market forecasts to vary widely over the next five years – from approximately USD 500 million to as much as USD 29 billion.¹

Development of the quantum computing ecosystem is accelerating in anticipation of the opportunities the new technology will create. Startups and partnerships between researchers and technology providers are springing up to translate quantum research into capabilities suited to the business world.

This report discusses the paradigm shift that quantum computing represents for business, explains why your enterprise may need to act now, and provides a five-step roadmap toward achieving quantum-enabled business advantage.

¹“Quantum Computing Market by Revenue Source, Application (Simulation, Optimization, and Sampling), Industry (Defense, Banking & Finance, Energy & Power, Chemicals, and Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals), and Geography—Global Forecast to 2023.” marketsandmarke3ts.com. August 2017. https://www.marketsandmarkets.com/Market-Reports/quantum-computing-market144888301.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI9qarxIa_2gIVkFuGCh022AfdEAAYASAAEgKnxfD_BwE , Vlastelica, Ryan. “Why Goldman sees veggie burgers among the future’s most exciting technologies.” MarketWatch. Dec. 15, 2017. https://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-goldman-sees-veggie-burgers-among-the-futures-most-exciting-technologies-2017-12-13


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Additional content

Meet the authors

Jesus Mantas, Managing Partner, IBM Services

Dr. Frederik Flöther

Connect with author:


, Global Life Sciences Leader, IBM Q Consulting


Dr. Robert Sutor, Vice President, IBM Research, Quantum Computing Strategy and Ecosystem

Dr. Dario Gil, COO, IBM Research, VP, AI and Quantum Computing

Chris Schnabel, Offering Manager, IBM Global Quantum Computing

Lynn Kesterson-Townes, Global Cloud & Quantum Leader, IBM Institute for Business Value, Global Business Services


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