The maturing of quantum technology is generating a number of potential opportunities for new companies, products and services. The support-market has burst on the scene and looks as if it will grow along the same lines as the primary technology through 2025. It is worth noting that given the variable characteristics of quantum technology, it is believed that projecting numbers past the 2025 point in time is of little value and would likely be of greater risks and lower use. Some even think 2023 should be the break-point. Given what we have experienced thus far in 2020, I am thinking the medium estimate range is the better in terms of value. With current projections of the quantum computing market by 2025 in the billions of U.S. dollars, one can easily see the need to regularly monitor the market conditions. Now add the growth in the quantum technology support market and the overall implications are substantial. The time to plan is now.
The main emerging support-market builds on the need to construct software that runs (operating systems and support) and runs on quantum computers (applications, APIs, software programs and even writing code to be placed on quantum chips). Just as software for conventional computing has, and will continue to grow at double-digit percentages, it is highly likely that quantum computing software will follow along the same line. This is necessary to support the growth of the advancement of the technology and the quantum technology business! That being said, there are a few influencing factors in the development of this emerging technology that should be kept in mind. One of them is the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in with quantum computing. That has begun to take place and has become well recognized. When you add continuous machine learning, the value looks to be substantial. The anticipated application of AI will likely be extended to include SMART programming and that includes Natural Language Programming for quantum computers, chips and devices. Think about this, you speak what you want the quantum system to do and the quantum computer software interprets it, writes the code and executes it and delivers the results in your desired format. Or you will likely be able to submit a raw formula and the AI system writes the code necessary to execute the submitted formula, inputs it, executes it and delivers the results in your desired format. Perhaps it might even suggest changes/corrections to your work. Once these capabilities have been proven, this could significantly reduce the programming resource shortage impact and will likely increase through-put for hosted platforms.
INSIGHT: Leading Computer Programming College/University majors as well as real-world business and government training providers are beginning to take notice of the quantum movement. A few programs have begun to integrate quantum computing and technology into their course-work. There are great quantum computing informal training resources available already. To-Do: As one example, check YouTube out for Python training.
WARNING: The dramatic growth in the popularity of Python (not just for QC) has drawn the attention of hackers. Malware written in and malware targeting Python is on the rise. Care must be taken with regard to Python.
All of this brings some interesting points to mind. One important point is that we should all keep in mind is the current and near-term shortage of properly trained software developers that are needed to support quantum computing has no solution at this time. With the broad number of quantum computing programming languages (one more just added) and development tools currently available and growing, the challenge of identifying and recruiting properly skilled programming staff is increasing. Even though the latest level of quantum computers for college/university course-work as well as for the development of AI programming products for quantum computing has come a long way in the last few years, access to the latest and greatest quantum technology is seen as a continuing challenge by many. This remains the case even with quantum computer simulation on conventional computers.
INSIGHT: I was asked by a recruiter who was looking for a ‘senior level, experienced’ quantum computing programmer. If experience is one of your requirements – only a few exist. Also breaking is the request for quantum technology installation technicians – not requiring a 4-year or more college/university degree. That is a clear indicator the commercial market has gotten underway.
Once again this should not be a surprise. It is all part of the quantum technology marketplace maturing. However, there are a few surprises that are coming along with quantum technology maturing. Perhaps the biggest is the rate at which this is taking place exceeds many expectations. Second, the increasing estimates of the impact quantum computing will have in the not so distant future. Third, the magnitude and range for the quantum computing impact and global market size estimates/forecasts. Can you imagine this market when the first momentous commercial advancement that was enabled by the use of quantum technology becomes publicly known?