What is Quantum Computing?
Quantum Computing is essentially another way of processing data. Unlike traditional methods currently used by everyday computers, quantum computing uses properties of quantum physics to process data quicker. The exact science behind this is complicated — even Bill Gates admits that it leaves him baffled saying, “I know a lot of physics and a lot of math. But the one place where they put up slides and it is hieroglyphics, it’s quantum”. Here is the best explanation I could find of the science behind this technology:
“In quantum computing, a qubit (short for “quantum bit”) is a unit of quantum information—the quantum analog to a classical bit. Qubits have special properties that help them solve complex problems much faster than classical bits. One of these properties is superposition, which states that instead of holding one binary value (“0” or “1”) like a classical bit, a qubit can hold a combination of “0” and “1” simultaneously. When multiple qubits interact coherently, they can explore multiple options and process information in a fraction of the time it would take even the fastest non-quantum systems.” ‘
— Microsoft Quantum
Put simply, traditional computers can only hold one value (either a 0 or 1) at a time while the qubits utilized in quantum computing can simultaneously hold both the 0 and the 1. This method becomes useful when a large amount of data must be processed. Rather than going through each configuration one-by-one, quantum computing enables all of the configurations to exist at the same time by overlapping quantum states, producing the solutions to the problem at a much faster rate than traditional computing.
Applications in the Business World
So, why does all of this matter?
The world as we know it is entering an era where “Big Data” is king. In the coming years, it undoubtedly will be integral to every industry. Processing large amounts of data will be essential to advancing the fields of artificial intelligence, healthcare, energy, environmental systems, smart materials, and more.
Here are three ways that quantum computing could help your business in the near future:
One of the ways quantum computing will become vital to many businesses is with cryptography. Ordinary computers used today make it infeasible to break the encryption that uses very large prime number factorization. With quantum computers, this decryption could become trivial, leading to much stronger protection of our digital lives and assets. Of course, we’ll also be able to break traditional encryption much faster.
2. Data Analytics
The oncoming importance of big data will soon become applicable to every business. Data will help you analyze customer behavior, make decisions, and maximize profits. Large amounts of information that used to be nearly impossible to interpret will be made relatively simple with quantum computing.
3. Pattern Matching
Finding patterns in data and using these to predict future trends is highly valuable. The ability to receive a large amount of data on customer behaviors, interactions, and habits and turn it into practical, applicable information will prove to be extremely beneficial in maximizing profits and customer satisfaction.