Analysts estimate that quantum computing will create up to $850 billion in annual global economic value over the next 15 to 30 years.
However, businesses should be prepared for an economic hit in the short-term as they grapple with the practical applications of the technology, reports The Times.
For example, IT leaders will have to completely upgrade their organisations’ passwords and logins due to quantum computers’ ability to crack codes easily.
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Quantum computing could result in a $310 billion annual hit to gross domestic product in the United States alone because of productivity losses associated with the “steep learning curve” that industries face in adapting to the technology, according to a paper published in scientific journal Nature.
Researchers point to how conventional computers actually slowed economic growth when companies introduced them in the 1970s and 1980s. “For 15 years they slowed growth in productivity by 0.76 percentage points per annum”, the researchers said, because companies had to invest in new equipment and needed to work out how to adapt their businesses to use the technology efficiently. “Only after many sectors had adjusted in the 1990s did productivity growth rise again, sharply.”
The impact to industry from introducing quantum computers will be even bigger partly because of high integration costs, researchers predicted.
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Chander Velu, a professor of innovation and economics at the University of Cambridge, and Fathiro Putra, a lecturer in industrial engineering and engineering management at the Bandung Institute of Technology in Indonesia, “businesses adopting quantum computing should have a competitive edge over others. Yet, in the short term, it’s unclear to what extent the introduction of these machines will prove commercially valuable”.
Quantum computing will propel the power of computers to solve problems that are currently impossible.
Unlike digital computers, which process binary “bits” of information arranged in either 0s and 1s, quantum computers use “qubits”, which can represent many states at once and can be combined or “entangled”, thereby vastly speeding up calculations.
Quantum supercomputers are expected to transform industries including healthcare, sustainable energy, and advanced materials.
More on quantum computing
UK Government announce 10-year quantum funding scheme worth £2.5bn – A decade-long programme has been launched by the UK Government, entailing £2.5bn in funding towards quantum computing initiatives