Sci-Fi Realities: Embracing Quantum Computing’s Imminent Role

by Balazs Fejes, SVP, Banking and Financial Services, EPAM Switzerland

September 7, 2017

Something that was once considered science fiction is becoming a reality and, in turn, a monumental technology disruption. It’s no surprise that as the amount of data processed, analyzed and stored increases, so too will the need for more advanced computing.

At their core, quantum computers are exceptional at solving many of the complex challenges that currently affect computation- and data-heavy practices. By harnessing the strange properties of the universe to process information, quantum computers can perform exponentially more calculations than today’s computers.

Although the power of quantum computing (QC) is only just on the verge of a breakthrough with small, experimental systems being used by developers and researchers, the implications are enough to provoke widespread conversation. Some companies are even working toward offering commercial quantum computers within a year. Let’s take a closer look at how quantum will revolutionize one particular industry…

Quick & Agile: Quantum Development Could Polish Processes

Since the finance industry is bursting with data and could benefit from processing power improvements, it will certainly be one of the first impacted by this cutting-edge technology. There’s no doubt that the fast approaching age of ‘quantum supremacy’ will fundamentally change how the industry will approach scenario analysis, portfolio optimization and cybersecurity, to name a few examples.

In an increasingly digital world, investors expect transparency in their decision-making process. Given the fact that QC could rapidly complete more calculations and produce more financial outcomes for scenario analysis, these computers could pave way to an improved client-adviser experience. When it comes to their financial future, clients will trust the advisor who leverages such immense capabilities.

Another area where quantum computers will shine is with portfolio optimization. Current methods of risk measurement in portfolio optimization are computationally exhaustive, and quantum technology could shorten the entire process. Ultimately, arming investors with more in-depth information at a much quicker rate could facilitate more well-informed decisions that result in better returns.

Finally, one of the biggest concerns regarding the finance industry today lies in data security. With quantum on the rise, most traditional encryption methods are no longer sustainable or safe. That’s why many programmers are designing new algorithms, or post-quantum cryptography, to prepare for the next wave of cyber threats. The new code and lattice-based cryptography allows information to be sent securely, notifying recipients of any interception attempts and easing the minds of any stakeholders involved with transactions. Furthermore, quantum computing will play a major role in fraud detection, which will become a much simpler process since quantum algorithms could perform pattern recognition better than traditional resources.

Take-away: Early Adoption of Quantum Could be a Big Differentiator

Out of all the disruptive technologies making their mark in the finance industry today, quantum computing is the frontrunner to make a lasting impression. To date, computing power has been following Moore’s Law, but ten years from now, quantum will take Moore’s Law to new heights.

Some predict that quantum will become so ubiquitous that it will even be accessible through the cloud, allowing anyone to use it on a mobile device and paving way to new frontiers. The sheer magnitude of performance and data provided by quantum power could turn tech evolution into a tech revolution.

As the quantum hype continues its upward trajectory, it’s important to become an early adopter to the unavoidable market change by understanding the tech and planning how it will fit into your practice. Being ahead of the curve is the only surefire way to set you apart, so think quantum when you’re considering your next business innovation.