Tuesday, 16th July 2019
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Business leaders want quantum technology now

Almost 90% of business leaders surveyed worldwide believe the insufficient power of today’s computing technology is holding their business back from revolutionising business processes.

Business leaders are impatient for the arrival of quantum computing and eager to take advantage of the disruptive process optimisation it promises, according to new research released by Fujitsu and conducted by independent analyst firm PAC, a teknowlogy Group Company.

As pressure on organisations rises, the research confirms more and more businesses are frustrated by the slow pace of progress in quantum computing and are excited by today’s availability of the Fujitsu Digital Annealer – a bridging technology able to solve intractable problems at speed, and therefore capable of bringing transformative benefits to businesses right away.

Despite quantum computing being in its infancy today, there is already pent-up demand for its disruptive power, with 81% of business leaders surveyed in the research believing that its arrival will accelerate the optimisation of business, logistical and industrial processes, help deliver digital transformation and ensure they remain competitive in fast-changing markets.

Businesses are also frustrated with the slow pace at which the technology is developing, with the study revealing that 50% of respondents do not expect quantum computing to go mainstream in the next decade. At the same time, 89% believe that the insufficient computing power of today’s technology is holding back their business from taking full advantage of combinatorial optimisation – the process of identifying the optimal solution among a huge array of options – in order to revolutionise business processes.

In fact, such is the pent-up demand for business process optimisation that two-thirds of those surveyed (66%) are looking for optimisation solutions today, rather than waiting for experimental and possibly unstable quantum computing to arrive far in the future. This is driven by a belief that competitors might gain an unassailable advantage from quantum computing: two-thirds of respondents agree that a competitor’s early adoption of quantum computing would lead to disruption in their business sector.

Growing recognition that Fujitsu’s Digital Annealer closes the gap to quantum

Driven by the demand for radical breakthroughs brought by real-time optimisation of complex business processes, the research indicates a growing recognition among businesses that the Fujitsu Digital Annealer – inspired by quantum computing – bridges the gap to quantum, by enabling organisations to run real-time combinatorial optimisation algorithms without waiting for quantum computers. According to the study, seven in ten organisations – across diverse industry sectors such as manufacturing, financial services and retail – now recognise Digital Annealer’s potential to accelerate their journey to a quantum-computing future.

Yves de Beauregard, Head of Digital Business Solutions at Fujitsu EMEIA, says: “Everyone talks about the fear of disruption. Business leaders are keenly aware of this threat and opportunity, but are disappointed that quantum computing is still too far in the future and too fragile for practical business use situations. This underlines why we’re seeing such high levels of interest in the Fujitsu Digital Annealer’s ability to combinatorial business optimisation calculations. The Digital Annealer is already commercially available, has demonstrated tangible results in sectors such as financial services, manufacturing and automotive, and is already being deployed today by forward-thinking businesses aiming to become a disruptive force.”

Fujitsu Digital Annealer already proving to be a powerful disruptive force

The Fujitsu Quantum-inspired Digital Annealer solution enables businesses to unlock new potential and become a disruptive force in the digital age by instantly finding the optimal combination of massively complex, previously unmanageable data variables. For example, a premium European automotive manufacturer is using the Digital Annealer to streamline robot welding operations on a production line. This allows more cars to be manufactured in a given time through reducing the need for additional resources in the paint shop, the most expensive part of a car manufacturing process.

In financial services, one of the UK’s leading financial institutions is exploring how the Fujitsu Digital Annealer can optimise its investment portfolios in real-time. Additional use cases include maximising return on investment for utilities companies and, in the pharmaceutical sector, the discovery of new substances and development of new drugs.

Further examples of combinatorial optimisation use cases include improving the efficiency of truck loading for transport and logistics organisations. Fujitsu also leverages the Digital Annealer solution in its own factories, where it has optimised inventory and reduced workers’ travelling distances by 45 percent per month, with a consequent reduction in non-productive time. Governments, too, are fascinated by the potential to achieve climate change targets faster, for example by optimising transport systems to take real-time traffic conditions into account, therefore helping reduce pollution.

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