Special Feature
Part of a ZDNet Special Feature: The CIO's guide to quantum computing

Research: Quantum computing will impact the enterprise, despite being misunderstood

58% of survey respondents said quantum computing will have a significant or somewhat of an impact on the enterprise, even though 90% reported having little or no understanding of the technology.

Quantum computer. Abstract physics  background concept with qubit. Learning artificial intelligence element. Cryptography infographic vector. Big data algorithms visualization.

Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Nanotechnology, transportation, cybersecurity, and data analytics are just a small sampling of the fields that quantum computing is predicted to impact. However, while the use cases for quantum computing may seem endless, enterprises are still deciding if this new level of compute power is all just a pipe dream or a future reality. 

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Special Report: The CIO's guide to Quantum computing (free PDF)

Quantum computers offer great promise for cryptography and optimization problems. ZDNet explores what quantum computers will and won't be able to do, and the challenges we still face.

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ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic Premium wanted to discover exactly what the enterprise thinks about quantum computing. So it conducted a survey asking professionals what they know about quantum computing, and what they don't. 

Overall, quantum computing remains an enigma for the majority of survey respondents, with 90% reporting that they had little to no understanding of the topic. Only 11% of the 598 respondents said they had an 'excellent' understanding of quantum computing.

SEE: Research: Quantum computing in the enterprise; key vendors, anticipated benefits, and impact (TechRepublic Premium)

In terms of industry impact, more than half of the respondents (58%) said quantum computing will have either a significant or somewhat of an impact on the enterprise. Exactly where that impact will be seen was less clear. According to 42% of survey respondents, the IT sector will benefit most, followed by the pharmaceutical and finance sectors at 14% and 12% respectively. Other cited industries included healthcare, energy, telecom, and manufacturing. 

Because this new level of compute power allows data to be consumed and processed faster while using less energy, all industries could potentially reap benefits from quantum computing. However, when asked "would your company have a use for quantum computing as a service?", 53% felt unclear about the promise of this technology. Twenty-six percent of respondents said they do see a use for quantum computing as a service, while almost a quarter (21%) did not.

This infographic contains more details from the research. For all the findings, download the full report Research: Quantum computing in the enterprise; key vendors, anticipated benefits, and impact (available free to TechRepublic Premium subscribers).

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