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Cloud-based quantum computing lets startups compete with Goliaths

Jason Li
Sr. Software Development Engineer
Skilled Angular and .NET developer, team leader for a healthcare insurance company.
May 03, 2023

In the days of the supercomputer, these beasts capable of developing millions of instructions per second (MIPS) were prohibitively expensive. Supercomputers have incredibly high computational capabilities compared to general-purpose computers such as personal desktops and laptops. Seymour Roger Cray introduced the first supercomputer in the 1960s at Control Data Corporation (CDC), and since then, it has been used extensively in science and engineering. Moreover, supercomputers are very expensive to acquire, operate, and develop, even though they provide enormous computational power. The power of a high-end supercomputer would be accessible only to enterprises that could afford it. Their solutions will set them apart from other solutions regarding the innovative value they can offer businesses.

The higher-end computing power was not accessible to a large part of the economy, which could have been used for research, development, diagnostics, AI, etc., and other implementations with robust computing demands that can't be supported by cheap commodity hardware. This was a critical barrier to entry for mega corporations because it protected their market position from quicker-moving competitors.

Naturally, the cloud brought about a drastic change. Now, with a credit card and a cloud account, something that once required a sizable investment is accessible. Any business with the (lesser) financial resources to use top-tier, formerly unavailable computing services nowadays can connect higher processing systems, including burgeoning quantum computing. In recent years, this game-changer has been developing.

Cloud computing

“Cloud computing" is a term used to define an abstraction of computing, storage, and internet infrastructure designed to enable rapid system deployment and elastic scalability. Cloud computing relies on self-service because it allows users to begin immediately.

The large bulk of cloud users makes use of public cloud computing facilities, which are maintained by cloud providers online and are organized in substantial, far-off data centres. As evidenced by well-known apps like Salesforce, Google Docs, or Microsoft Teams, SaaS (software as a service), the most common type of cloud technology, offers preconfigured application forms to the web pages of clients who pay per seat or by usage. IaaS (infrastructure as a service) is the next choice on the list. It offers substantial, virtualization computing, flash memory, and internet service upon which consumers may develop their applications, commonly with the aid of the providers' API-accessible services.

The term "the cloud" is typically used to refer to one of the significant Applications and services, such as Amazon web services Amazon Web Service (AWS), Cloud Platform, or Windows Azure. Each of these three has grown into a massive ecosystem of services that go far beyond infrastructure, including database systems, cloud hosting computing, machine learning assistance, and thousands of other benefits. Both SaaS and IaaS have a lot to offer in terms of agility. Customers can quickly increase or decrease their cloud resources to suit their needs without investing in new hardware or software, giving them access to new capabilities almost immediately.

The primary benefit of the cloud is the shorter time to market for applications that require dynamic scaling. However, the abundance of cutting-edge new products and services that can be integrated into application areas, from machine learning to internet of things (IoT) connectivity, is luring developers to the cloud more and more.

Cloud service providers like IBM, Microsoft, Amazon, and Google have all made significant investments in quantum computing and are now allowing businesses to access their quantum computers via the cloud. Numerous companies can share the services, and each only pays for the resource management they use. But things don't stop there.

The providers of cloud services are on top of this. Now, providers are providing frameworks and tools to assist companies in creating quantum applications. Developers can write and debug quantum programs with Microsoft's Quantum Development Kit, which offers tools and libraries. IBM's Qiskit framework provides a free, open-source development kit for creating quantum programs.

The commercialization of quantum computing is about to begin, which could alter the course of history. Early adopters of quantum's singular capacity to solve specific issues may make strides that open the door to new business models. These innovative businesses are investigating use cases and related algorithms that tackle challenging business issues.

Most companies are already mindful of the possible disruptive effects of quantum computing (QC) if it succeeds in its development and becomes widely used in industry. By tackling so-called intractable problems of rapidly growing complexity that are currently unsolvable by traditional high-performance computers, it is expected to transform business. Four general categories can be used to classify these issues: simulation, improvement, machine learning (ML), and data encryption. From fully digitalized drug discovery and new material development to logistics, administration of supply chains, and portfolio optimization, the use instances for the organization across the first three groups are limitless.

Additionally, cloud service providers are spending money on learning and instruction to aid businesses in comprehending and creating quantum applications. IBM provides a platform called Quantum Experience that enables users to explore quantum computing via a web-based user interface. Microsoft offers training materials and online courses to assist developers in learning about quantum, including creating and deploying applications.

Last but not least, companies offering cloud-based quantum computing assist with the skills and knowledge required to use quantum computing successfully. They encourage all levels of networking and cooperation with other businesses and authorities in the quantum field. The IBM Q Network is a global network of companies cooperating to progress quantum computing and investigate its potential applications. Architects and developers are welcome.

Furthermore, you have to be cautious not to overuse quantum computing, which is thought to pose the most significant risk. Like artificial intelligence, businesses will use quantum computing to address issues that don't call for it. They'll invest ten times as much money and effort into a problem that could have been resolved more quickly with conventional computing technology.

Transportation and logistics, financial modeling, materials design, traffic optimization, and medical diagnostics are some of the major applications of quantum computing. Quantum programmers will discover that while powerful technology can have positive value when used correctly, it can also have negative value when misused.

Challenges are inevitable, though. We can broaden the application of quantum clouds besides specialized industrial scenarios to more diverse applications, markets, and problem domains. Cloud service suppliers must continue improving their ability to deliver quantum computing solutions, such as handling errors and other problems during routine operations. They must also lower prices, which many businesses still find higher than anticipated. Startups can operate more quickly and aggressively than their larger, constipated competitors who currently control the market. They did not previously battle on a level playing ground, but quantum computing has the potential to change that. Aside from taxicab systems, other industries could experience significant disruptions. Consumers should ultimately gain from this development of value-driven creativity using less expensive quantum.

How Quantum computing will transform the future?

The exciting potential of quantum computing will enable us to address some of society's most challenging problems, including healthcare, energy, and the environment. Quantum computing will fundamentally alter how businesses interact with their customers from a marketing perspective.

AI and ML are assisting brands in gaining insights, improving their decisions, and developing more enjoyable products and experiences due to the data explosion. With voice, image, handwriting recognition, intelligent devices, and digital assistants, AI enables us to interact with technology more naturally.

In this sense, quantum computers will be perfect because they accelerate ML and interactions. This implies that AI-powered experiences will experience even more like human interactions while being more extensive and responsive.

Additionally, this will hasten the development of ambient intelligence. This technology allows people to interact with their surroundings at any time, place, and however they choose—and occasionally even without giving explicit input. Ambient computing, though still niche, is gaining popularity, particularly with virtual assistants, gadgets, and the Internet of Things. (IoT). People could become safer, more at ease, and more in control through ambient computing.

One day, quantum computing will make progress in circumstances that enhance customer interactions across sectors possible. In creating a safer, more dependable online experience for customers and brands alike, quantum computing holds one of the most exciting possibilities. Due to the growing dependence on digital technology, cyber threats are becoming more significant daily. In the future, quantum machine learning techniques will be used to safeguard business data, detect threats sooner, reduce damage, and improve the security of online services like ad platforms.

The commercialization of quantum computing is about to begin, which could alter the course of history. In the early days of quantum computing, early adopters may make strides that lead to new business models by harnessing its singular capacity to solve specific kinds of problems. The quantum computing ecosystem is already aligning with visionary organizations in order to become "quantum ready."


Quantum computing is developing quickly. Look for innovation and development toolkits that set new standards for the sector and around which ecosystems are forming. Recognize that discoveries might necessitate changing your strategy for developing your quantum system, including your ecosystem partners. Be mindful of how your own quantum computing requirements may change over time, especially as your knowledge of the business problems that can most benefit from quantum computing solutions grows.