Understanding quantum computing principles is essential to prepare IT staff for future quantum jobs and influence new IT strategies and algorithm development.
Market Situation: It is believed by many researchers that a quantum computer of 50 quantum bits (qubits) can comfortably be used for general business and scientific activities and can surpass any supercomputer available in the market today. Three years ago most of the quantum computing development effort only resulted in low-power prototypes with less than 5 qubits. However, in 2017 IBM built a 50 qubits machine and in March 2018 Google announced 72 qubit chip. In July 2018, Google released Cirq, a software toolkit that lets developers create algorithms without needing a background in quantum mechanics. Cirq is an open-source initiative, which means anyone can access and modify the software.
However, becoming proficient in quantum computing requires significant and lengthy re-skilling of IT staff in areas such as matrix algebra, assembly programming language and the ability to work with probabilities to handle uncertainties. It is anticipated that the following new jobs will be needed to exploit and manage quantum computer environments:
- Architect/Strategist – To determine which business problems can be fixed by quantum computers
- Algorithm Designers – To design quantum computer software tools
- Programmer – To effectively use quantum computers assembly and high level programming languages
- Support Engineer – To understand the quantum computer architecture and support the production environment
- Security Specialist – To create new security strategies and capabilities to mitigate quantum computers risks
What is next: Exploiting the power of quantum computers requires forward thinking IT organisations to start building elements of quantum computers training in their staff career progression plans. Triggers include:
- Career development review
- New IT Strategy development
- Long term Security Strategy development
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