The cloud has become the resource many companies turn to when they need large amounts of digital storage, constantly updated SaaS (software-as-a-service), or high-performance computing capabilities. With the aggressive expansion of AI (artificial intelligence) in applications, even smaller companies can benefit from the computing power available in the cloud.

And while the cloud has been highly publicized as an option for everything digital, an even more powerful environment exists that hasn’t gotten nearly as much coverage: quantum computing. A recent IDC (Intl Data Corp.) survey of IT and business personnel responsible for quantum computing adoption found that improved AI capabilities, accelerated business intelligence, and increased productivity and efficiency were the top expectations of organizations currently investing in cloud-based quantum computing.

The IDC Study, Quantum Computing Adoption Trends: 2020 Survey Findings notes that cloud-based quantum computing is a young market, and funds earmarked for quantum computing initiatives are limited (0-2% of IT budgets), end users are optimistic that early investment will result in a competitive advantage. Manufacturing, financial services, and security industries are currently experimenting with more potential uses, developing advanced prototypes, and being further along in their implementation.

But there are challenges. Complex technology, skillset limitations, lack of available resources, and cost are causing some companies to defer investing in quantum computing. Combined with a large interdisciplinary interest, quantum computing vendors have been driven to develop technology that addresses multiple end-user needs and skill levels. The result is increased cloud-based quantum computing that is more easily accessible and user friendly. Types of technologies employed across industries include quantum algorithms, cloud-based quantum computing, quantum networks, and hybrid quantum computing.

Quantum computing is best for organizations looking to use big data applications, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to improve business intelligence. IDC’s report provides insight into the demand-side of cloud-based quantum computing, including preferred technologies and end-user investment and implementation strategies. These factors can help guide businesses to find the right uses for quantum computing and the quantum computing vendors and independent software vendors to develop those apps.

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