Nearly 60 per cent of Canadian organizations expect quantum computers to become mainstream by the end of the decade, new research from KPMG Canada found.
For this study, KPMG surveyed 250 large corporations – 90 in Canada and 160 in the U.S. – in Feb. 2023.
A vast majority of Canadian companies (85 per cent) said they plan to make investments in quantum within the next five years, but barely half are prepared for the arrival of the technology or have fully assessed the risks associated.
Investments, however, remain in full swing. Nearly a quarter of respondents are looking to leverage quantum computing to improve business practices such as manufacturing, logistics, and distribution, 19 per cent are looking to improve security, and 18 per cent to improve AI capabilities.
Earlier this year, the government of Canada invested C$360 million in the National Quantum Strategy, dedicated to quantum research, developing and retaining quantum talent, and commercializing quantum products.
“Quantum computing could be the biggest revolution since the beginning of modern computer science,” said Alexander Rau, a partner in KPMG in Canada’s cybersecurity quantum risk practice. “The early adopters of quantum could unleash a massive data processing and analysis advantage over their competitors in the market.”
Rau added that companies need to start strategizing, planning and investing now if they wish to realize the full potential and benefits of quantum computing. The report finds that 17 per cent of Canadian companies have already invested in quantum computing. In the U.S. it’s more than double that.
While Canadian organizations do recognize the potential of quantum computing, over 50 per cent are extremely concerned about its potential to break through their data encryption.
“Organizations need to understand that hackers and cybercriminals will be quick to use quantum to decipher encrypted data. If an organization isn’t focused on developing its defences now, they will be at risk of mega-data breaches that will result in major losses, reputational damage and possibly lawsuits,” stated Rau.
Over 60 per cent of respondents acknowledge that they need to do a better job evaluating their company’s security to ensure their data remains secure, but nearly half fear their organizations will wait until quantum technology has matured before it does anything about it.
Accordingly, 39 per cent of Canadian organizations say they are not prepared for the potential threats posed by quantum computing and 37 per cent are undecided. In the U.S., 61 per cent said they’re not prepared, and 16 per cent are undecided.
“It’s important that as companies invest in and adopt quantum computing solutions that they also simultaneously assess potential vulnerabilities and establish an action plan for their data protection infrastructure,” warned Feite Kraay, IBM Alliance Director, KPMG in Canada.