We’ve seen several white papers come out recently that are written for an enterprise end customer audience with advice on what they should do with quantum computing.  Not surprisingly, the advice they all provide is quite similar and it boils down to something like this:

Quantum computers are likely to become powerful enough within the next 2-5 years that they will be able to process real world problems that were hitherto not possible with standard computers.  This capability will allow enterprise to either develop new products, optimize costs, or increase rates of returns in ways that provide a quantum advantage.  Early adopters who take advantage this technology will enjoy a competitive advantage over competitors who do not.

However, it is not easy to program a quantum computer because you can’t just recompile a classical computer program and see performance improvements by running it on a quantum computer.  Quantum computing requires completely new algorithms and it takes a lot of training and practice for an engineer or researcher to create a quantum program.  Therefore, it is recommended that enterprises choose a few key R&D folks and have them start learning quantum computing during this quantum ready period.  That way, when the powerful quantum computers become available in a few years, your organization will be able to get a quick start and enjoy the advantages of being an early adopter.

Not surprisingly, many of the organizations that write these white papers also provide consulting services to help enterprises move down this path, which is why they wrote the white papers in the first place.  We’ve certainly seen a few enterprises start implementing this strategy, for example, Ford, JP Morgan Chase, Airbus, and Volkswagen and we expect many more in the near future.

For more information, we are listing a library of various white papers with links that provide the thoughts of each of the groups authoring the white papers.

IBM: Coming soon to your business – Quantum Computing. Five strategies to prepare for the paradigm-shifting technology

Deloitte: From fantasy to reality. Quantum computing is coming to the marketplace

Accenture: Innovating with Quantum Computing. Enterprise experimentation provides view into future of computing

BCG: The Next Decade in Quantum Computing—and How to Play

McKinsey: The growing potential of quantum computing

Gartner: The CIO’s Guide to Quantum Computing