The leading edge of technology travels at such as rapid pace, it can be hard to keep up.  It’s sometime tough to work out what’s science fiction and what matters most for enterprises today. Gartner has produced a regular analysis, the “Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies”,  to help with this. This analysis is a great illustration of some of the upcoming technology topics and can also predict when these technologies will have an impact on enterprise productivity.

“This week Microsoft announced a preview of their Quantum Development Kit.”

If you look at some of the most talked about terms of the past five years, you will see that a vast majority of these companies have started implementing these terms into their business solutions. Some of these terms include virtual and augmented realities, machine learning and blockchain. Not so long ago, all of these terms seemed like science fiction, with no tangible business impact.

Even as enterprises are staring to add these terms and technologies into business processes, the next wave of hot topics are already taking up headlines.

To many, there might seem to be little enterprise relevance for terms like superposition, entanglement, teleportation, qubits, spin states, and probabilistic computing. But this revolution in the approach to computation looks like it will have profound implications for businesses.


Quantum Computing

Gartner’s Hype Cycle lists Quantum Computing as reaching the plateau of productivity in more than ten years’ time, given that things like VR/AR, ML and blockchain are already reaching maturity faster than most people expected. With the nature of the problems that quantum computing can potentially solve, it is necessary to understand it’s impact on fundamental IT processes.

“A great example of the kind of calculation that quantum computing could greatly impact is encryption.”

In a nutshell

Quantum computing takes advantage of the quantum mechanical phenomena by performing calculations based on data (the bits) treated as a probability, rather than a simple 1 or 0. As a result, the computations can be far more complex and run faster than traditional computing.

Encryption is a great example of the kind of calculation that quantum computing could greatly impact. Today it takes a lot of processing to brute-force crack encrypted data. Using quantum computing, the parallel, probabilistic approach could crack encryption much faster. Thankfully, smart minds out there are also looking at how quantum computing can enable better encryption using things like quantum key distribution – an intercepted message would be impossible to brute-force crack.

The Future of Quantum Computing

There are other applications of quantum computing that may have profound effects on humanity, such as the data processing required for drug development or accurately modelling weather patterns.  All of this, and then some, is just on the horizon and rapidly becoming anything but science fiction.