We’ve recently come across two surveys of current and potential enterprise users of quantum computing that provide an interesting view of their thoughts and give an indication of how they may deploy quantum computing in the future along with the biggest challenges.

The first survey was performed by Hyperion Research under contract from D-Wave Systems. Preliminary results were reported at the recent D-Wave Qubits 2021 conference and we have received permission to provide a summary of it here. A final report is forthcoming and we will provide a link to it when it is available. The second survey was performed by market research firm Propeller Insights for Classiq, an Israeli quantum software startup. The questions and methodologies of the two surveys are a little different but both are worth seeing. We will summarize our analysis of both surveys in the remainder of this article.

The Hyperion/D-Wave research surveyed 415 respondents who they regarded as decision makers with companies that will achieve in 2021 over $50 million in revenue and have an IT budget create than $5 million. These respondents were located in the U.S., Europe and Asia with 68% holding position titles of either CIO, CTO, VP, or Director. Of the respondents, a full 92% of them indicated they were very familiar or somewhat familiar with quantum computing. In addition, a surprisingly high 69% indicated they already have some internal quantum computing efforts and another 21% indicated they expected to start one in the next few years. The activity could range from exploring options to developing proof of concepts to being in production with a quantum computing application. In fact, 22% of the respondents indicated they were already in production use of quantum computing for one or more business processes. (We think this number may be a little high, but some respondents may have also included applications that are using some form of quantum resistant communication such as PQC or QKD.)

The survey also asked which potential applications the respondents were hoping to utilize QC for. Roughly half of the responses mentioned some form of optimization including logistics/supply chain, manufacturing/factory processes, and staff/scheduling problems. Quantum chemistry and materials problems were mentioned in 36% of the responses. About 62% of the respondents indicated that they currently have unmet computational needs of 25% or more and quantum computing may, of course, help alleviate some of this. The top potential benefits to the enterprise that were noted including increasing revenue, improving research capabilities, achieving competitive advantages, enhancing business process efficiencies and improving costs. The top challenges for incorporating quantum in their workflows today include too much time needed to implement a solution, long computational times, costly computer resource requirements, no in-house expertise, lack of hardware/software solutions, and other issues..

The Propeller Insights/Classiq survey used a different pool of respondents. They survey 509 U.S. based individuals ranging from C-level executives to managers who indicated they were already very or somewhat familiar with quantum computing. The survey also included people who worked in small and medium sized companies in additional to large corporations. Although the respondent pool was a little different, some of the responses received are consistent to those seen in the Hyperion/D-Wave survey. For example, 61.9% of the respondents indicated they already have budgets for QC in their company and another 21.6% plan to include QC budgets in the future. 41.5% percent of the respondents indicated that they work with quantum on a daily basis and another 31.6% said quantum is relevant to their work, but they don’t use it on a daily basis. When asked whether they believe that quantum technology is a necessity, 82.1% agreed that it is while another 16.5% of the respondents felt it was important but not a necessity. Some additional data from the survey is shown in the charts below.

When asked about the potential benefits of quantum computing, these were the ones mentioned

When asked about the potential applications of using quantum computing, these were the ones mentioned

When asked about the challenges to utilizing quantum computing, these were the ones mentioned

Classiq has issued two press releases with their interpretation of the survey results. They felt that two of the key challenges included a lack of quantum talent and that quantum software development platforms have been limited to date. The press release are available on the Classiq website here and here. You can also access the full report with details of the survey responses here.

October 16, 2021