More than 80% of Britain's largest companies are expanding their quantum computing capabilities, making the country a leader in deploying emerging technology to solve complex problems, according to research by Accenture.
In the past two years, technology has begun to move from research to commercial applications as companies seek to harness the potentially massive increase in computing power it offers. Alphabet, the parent company of Google, said that in late 2019 it used a quantum computer to solve a complex problem in minutes. Supercomputers could take thousands of years to solve.
As competitors including IBM Corp and Microsoft Corp are also developing technology in their cloud businesses, instead of storing information in bits - or zeros and ones - quantum computing uses the property of subatomic particles that can exist simultaneously in different states, so they can A quantum bit can be one and zero at the same time.
They can then become "entangled" - meaning they can affect each other's behavior in an observable way - resulting in exponential increases in computing power. Britain has long been a leader in basic research in science and technology, but - with some notable exceptions - It struggled to harness the business opportunities that followed.
Maynard Williams, managing director of Accenture Technology in the UK and Ireland, said that Covid-19 has forced companies to adopt new technology faster and increased their willingness to innovate, and Accenture's research showed that British companies were advancing in the quantum computing experiment.
Britain was ahead of the global average of 62% of large companies expanding quantum technology, according to the research, and was led by the United States, where the figure was 74%. It will increase investment in technology in the next three years.