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The Impact of Quantum Computing on Digital Transformation

Quantum computing is still relatively new in practice, but the theory behind it goes back to Max Planck and Albert Einstein’s days. The revolutionary ideas from these men, among others, set up a foundation on which the science of quantum computing is being built today. While the application of quantum computing is still being worked on today, the technology will likely be adopted at a rapid pace in the next few decades since breakthroughs in the field are occurring quite frequently. It is undeniable that this could change our world forever.

But how is quantum computing different from regular computers? Regular computers nowadays use binary (meaning two electrical states, on and off) to relay information. When put in the right order, these states can be understood by a computer for all sorts of things. Current computers essentially have lots of on and off switches in them. However, quantum computers could use superposition, entanglement, and other quantum behaviours to switches with more states than on and off that the computer could recognise for information. These additional states can make the computer more efficient at storing and accessing information, thus increasing data density and computer speed.

This important technology could bring advancements to many different fields, including medical, financial, and cybersecurity. While these three main fields will see some benefits because quantum computing can provide enough power to do things not yet possible, every business can see benefits from faster computers. That’s just the nature of the digital world we live in.

The disruptive potential of quantum technology will make the change of the Internet era look like a small bump in the road! Kevin Coleman

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First Mover Advantage

The first significant digital transformation is in the medical field. Because complex problems would typically take years or even centuries to resolve with current computers. With quantum computing these complex problems could be solved in seconds, drug research could be changed significantly. Pharmaceutical companies could leverage computing to do imaging and simulations at incredible speeds, meaning that they could try many more ideas before producing the drug. Other complex problems like genome sequencing and protein folding can be sped up, both in research and in hospitals where patients are.

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Blockchain Technology and Banking

While the big technology currently revolutionising finance right now is the blockchain, it is still in its infancy. Blockchains are secured with hashes, which is, at its core, a lot of complex math problems. These math problems take a lot of computing power to solve currently, but quantum computers could solve them in less than a second. With this change, we could see blockchain technology become a part of every transaction we make, which is currently not feasible because retail stores can’t wait 20 minutes or more to ensure that a transaction has gone through. Banks also stand to gain with quantum computing. Every bank has some limited risk model when lending to someone, and in large numbers, it tends to be reasonably accurate. Quantum computing could even increase these models’ accuracy and allow for more complicated models to be developed.

The very fast computing power given by quantum computers has the potential to disrupt traditional businesses and challenge our cyber-security. Businesses need to be ready for a quantum future because it’s coming. Jeremy O’Brien

Finally, cybersecurity would be changed forever when quantum computers become commonplace. Standard encryption could take over a billion years for the world’s fastest supercomputer to brute force, but in the future, that could be done in less than 5 minutes. In preparation for this change, the industry is already changing. There are new encryption methods, additional authentication forms, and other ways to verify that you are logging into your online bank account. There is also work in creating a quantum encryption algorithm, which would be developed by quantum computers and, as such, would take even the newest future technology billions of years to be cracked, thus rendering essential data extremely safe.

 

Imran Zaman

The founder of DIGITI.ORG - The Digital Transformation Magazine. Imran is a Senior Consultant who helps FTSE 500 companies develop Cloud-First Strategies, introduce Cloud Operating and Cloud Finance Models and leads international Program Management teams to deliver digital change. Imran writes about Business, Technology and Innovation.

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