97% Of UK Business Leaders Expect Quantum Computing to Disrupt Their Sectors

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A report published yesterday by EY revealed a significant number (97%) of UK business leaders expect quantum computing to disrupt their sectors to a high or moderate extent.

The EY Quantum Readiness Survey 2022 contains the responses of 501 executive-level business leaders on a range of questions concerning the impact of quantum computing on UK businesses.

It found that in the UK, nearly all (97%) of the executives surveyed expect quantum computing to disrupt their sectors to a high or moderate extent. Moreover, approximately half (48%) believe that quantum computing will reach sufficient maturity to play a significant role in the activities of most companies in their respective sectors by 2025. Yet, only one-third (33%) of the organizations have started strategic planning to prepare for the technology’s commercialization. Additionally, only 24% have organized pilot teams to explore its potential or are currently working to do so. 

If current trends persist, “quantum computing is likely to cause disruption sooner than many people think,” said Harvey Lewis, associate partner, client technology & innovation, Ernst & Young LLP, in a press release. “For some organisations, this will create enormous opportunities. For others, considerable risks,” he said.

“Whether a business thrives or fails in the coming years will depend, we believe, on its overall readiness as determined by an array of commercial and technology-related factors, which we have measured through a combination of quantitative and qualitative research in this survey,” added Lewis.

The view exactly as to when quantum computing will reach sufficient maturity to have an impact differs depending on the sector. The range of sectors already engaging in quantum computing is “remarkable,” said Dr Simon Plant, deputy director for innovation, National Quantum Computing Centre (NQCC). In the report's foreword, Plant said that quantum technologies are just emerging, “but progress has been rapid over recent years.” He added that quantum technologies offer “the potential to unlock new, disruptive capabilities across computing, communications, sensing and more.”

Other key findings:

  • 72% of technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) respondents say future cryptography-related tasks are their top priority for using quantum computing and related technologies
  • 56% of advanced manufacturing firms have begun strategic planning
  • 97% of organizations intend to conduct strategic planning in relation to the use of quantum computing within the next five years

The report reiterated that quantum computing technology is “maturing fast” and UK organizations “need to get ready.” The report said that companies and public-sector bodies embarking on preparations should consider taking the following steps:

  1. Monitor for signals of disruption
  2. Evaluate your organization’s readiness
  3. Research and explore use cases
  4. Scope out the ecosystem
  5. Education, educate, educate. 

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