Editor’s note: Elitsa Bakalova is a Senior Analyst with Technology Business Research. This is the second of a two-part look at the emerging hot trends in information technology services.
HAMPTON, N.H. – Quantum technologies remain in the nascent stage, with vendors increasing R&D practices to develop technologies such as computing.
IBM [which is working with N.C. State with a quantum computing lab in Raleigh] has the technology expertise to accelerate commercial use of quantum computing as its investments date back to 2016. However, competitors such as Atos and Accenture are picking up speed. A key inhibitor to quantum computing adoption will be the impracticality of having the hardware on premises due to the very specific environmental conditions needed to function properly, creating opportunities for vendors to help customers take advantage of quantum computing without negatively impacting hardware sales.
EXAMPLES OF VENDORS’ RECENT ACTIVITIES
IBM released an integrated quantum computing system for scientific and commercial use. IBM Q System One tackles complex problems that are challenging for classical systems to handle while enabling quantum computers to operate beyond research labs.
In 2019 IBM is opening its first IBM Q Quantum Computation Center for commercial clients in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., expanding the IBM Q Network commercial quantum computing program, which already includes systems at the Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown, N.Y. The center will enable IBM to work with a community of enterprises, startups, academic institutions and research labs to advance quantum computing and explore practical applications for business and science.
Accenture Labs, three of which contain dedicated quantum computing R&D practices, engage in projects that have customer sponsors to solve real-world business or economic problems. Accenture maintains nine quantum computing offerings and has identified 150 use cases across its Operating Groups, the most prominent being pharmaceutical vendor Biogen.
Atos also continues to enhance its quantum computing capabilities.
As TBR wrote in its May 2019 Digital Transformation Insights Report: Emerging Technology, which focused on quantum, “Atos took its strengths in design computing for appliances and programming and emulation environments and announced several quantum research initiatives, including the opening of a global R&D lab in Yvelines, France, and Atos QLM [Quantum Learning Machine] implementations in Europe and the U.S. to enable clients to experiment with disruptive technologies, tackle the explosion of data and accelerate the number of practical use cases across industries.
Additionally, about a year ago, Atos developed a consulting practice around quantum computing to educate and advise clients on whether it is possible to use quantum to accelerate business applications. During Atos Technology Days 2019, Atos announced myQLM, a light version of a QLM, which is an on-premises environment designed for quantum software developers. Users can download myQLM on their desktops and use a set of algorithms to train at home or at a university and simulate the actual QLM.
A Phyton-based language, QLM allows students and researchers to develop and share code within the community, creating additional entry points for Atos’ broader services portfolio. With customers ranging from universities and research centers to high-performing computer ecosystems and commercial clients, Atos … is building one use case at a time. For France-based oil and gas company Total, Atos is using a QLM simulator to accelerate the analysis of seismic activities, helping Total stay ahead of competitors. Atos is also working with Bayer and RWTH Aachen University in Germany to evaluate the use of quantum computing to research and analyze human disease patterns.”