Post-quantum cybersecurity threats loom large

A new Zapata Computing report reveals deep commitment from organizations indicating a mature industry with widespread global interest and growing urgency regarding post-quantum cybersecurity threats.

The increased interest in quantum is translating into spending, which is demonstrated by 71% of surveyed quantum adopters with current quantum computing budgets in excess of $1 million. This result represents a 2.5-fold increase from 2021, when only 28% of quantum-adopted respondents indicated they had a quantum computing budget of more than $1 million.

Given this net positive shift in budgets, it is not surprising that 74% of enterprise leaders have either embraced or plan to adopt quantum computing. Interestingly, approximately 30% of respondents who have adopted or plan to adopt quantum computing expect to see a competitive advantage due to quantum computing within the next 12 months.

This represents a more than sevenfold increase year-on-year from 2021 (4%) and highlights the growing commitment to quantum computing initiatives in the near term as the technology continues to mature.

“We’re getting a unique glimpse into the quantum adoption mindset of global enterprise executives, which mirrors what we’re seeing in our customer base,” said Christopher Savoy, CEO of Zapata Computing.

These results become even more interesting when compared to the data we saw last year. Over the past 12 months, we have seen significant new developments in technology, particularly generative artificial intelligence, and near-term advantages from quantum-inspired technologies fueling momentum for the planning and adoption of quantum computing. As a result, more organizations are exploring what is possible with today’s hybrid classical quantum computing capabilities and how the potential of quantum computing can impact their competitive position – and ultimately their business results,” Savoy continued.

Machine learning and data analytics continue to be the leading quantitative use cases

Beyond one-off experiments, organizations focus on well-defined use cases and problems, with 71% of quantum adopters indicating they were focusing on machine learning/data analytics issues, up from 55% in 2021.

Vendor lock-up concerns are nearly universal

91% of survey respondents indicated that they were concerned about vendor lock-in, which becomes a concern when technology is about to be used to address real-world challenges on a commercial level. It’s too early to tell which hardware architecture will prevail, and adopters fear implementing a model that may not be the best for their long-term needs.

Post-quantum cybersecurity threats

In addition to being the biggest challenge to quant adoption cited by respondents, 65% of respondents are very or very concerned about post-quantum coding (PQC), and 63% of respondents are actively working with a vendor to prepare. The concerns reflect the magnitude of the threat posed by quantum computers and the apparent lack of reliable solutions.

Integration challenges continue to be an obstacle to adoption

The complexity of integrating quantum computing with existing IT stacks has prompted security concerns as the number one hurdle to quantum adoption. The persistence of this challenge is also reflected in the top considerations for selecting Quantum suppliers, with 51% prioritizing easy-to-use solutions and 50% prioritizing easy integration with existing IT.

Better business outcome expectations lead to quantum adoption

The biggest driver for exploring quantum computing is better performance and better business results, with 70% of respondents who embrace quantum citing this motivation, up from 60% in 2021.

Companies are getting tactical about quantitative adoption

Companies are taking tactical steps to make quantum computing a reality, with respondents indicating they are building new applications (48%), experimenting with quantum devices or simulators (62%), and experimenting and building proofs of concept (51%).

Each of these steps saw an increase in enterprise activity in 2022 compared to the previous year. The biggest shift has been toward experimenting with quantum devices, which grew from 48% of companies in 2021 to 62% in this year’s study.

Quantum adoption outpaces AI adoption

Enterprise leaders say they are adopting quantum technology more quickly than artificial intelligence. 49% of respondents said they were deploying Quantum more quickly than they did with AI, while only 17% indicated that they were going at a slower pace.

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