Post-quantum cybersecurity threats loom large

A new Zapata Computing report reveals a deepening commitment from enterprises that points to a maturing industry with widespread, global interest and increased urgency regarding post-quantum cybersecurity threats.

post-quantum cybersecurity threats

The growing interest in quantum is translating into spending, demonstrated by 71% of quantum-adopting enterprises surveyed having current quantum computing budgets of more than $1 million. This finding represents a 2.5X increase over 2021, where only 28% of quantum-adopting respondents indicated that they had a quantum computing budget of more than $1 million.

Considering this net-positive shift in budgets, it’s no surprise that 74% of enterprise leaders have adopted or are planning to adopt quantum computing. Interestingly, nearly 30% of respondents that 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 more than a sevenfold increase year-over-year from 2021 (4%) and highlights the growing commitment to near-term quantum computing initiatives 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 Savoie, CEO of Zapata Computing.

“These findings become more interesting when compared to the data we saw last year. Over the past 12 months, we’ve seen significant new developments in technology, particularly generative AI, and near-term advantages from quantum-inspired technologies that are fueling the momentum for quantum computing planning and adoption. As a result, more enterprises are exploring what’s possible with the hybrid quantum classical compute capabilities of today and how the potential of quantum computing may impact their competitive position — and ultimately their business results,” Savoie continued.

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

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

Vendor lock-in concerns are nearly universal

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

Post-quantum cybersecurity threats

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

Integration challenges remain an obstacle to adoption

The complexity of integrating quantum computing with existing IT stacks fell just behind security concerns as the top hurdle to quantum adoption. The persistence of this challenge was also reflected by the top considerations for selecting quantum vendors, with 51% prioritizing easy-to-use solutions and 50% prioritizing easy integration with existing IT.

Expectations of better business results drive quantum adoption

The top motivation for exploring quantum computing is driving better performance and business results, with 70% of quantum-adopting respondents citing this motivation, up from 60% in 2021.

Enterprises get tactical about quantum adoption

Enterprises are taking tactical steps to make quantum computing a reality, with respondents noting that they are building new applications (48%), running experiments on quantum hardware or simulators (62%), and experimenting and building proofs of concept (51%).

Each of these steps saw increased activity by enterprises in 2022 compared with the previous year. The biggest shift was towards running experiments on quantum hardware, which grew from 48% of enterprises 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 they did artificial intelligence. 49% of respondents say they are deploying quantum more quickly than they did with AI, with only 17% indicating they’re taking a slower pace.

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