How Accenture is Addressing the Emerging Market for Quantum Computing Technology

Quantum computing has emerged as one of the most disruptive and potentially transformative technologies of our time. As quantum computers become more powerful and practical in the coming years, they promise to revolutionize areas like artificial intelligence, drug discovery, financial modeling, and cybersecurity. With so much potential impact across industries, quantum computing represents an enormous emerging market opportunity.

accenture and Quantum Computing

Accenture’s Quantum Vision and Strategy

As a leading global professional services company, Accenture has been an early mover in recognizing the seismic implications of quantum computing. Accenture formed a dedicated Quantum Computing unit as early as 2015 to begin developing strategies, partnerships, and pilot projects focused on this groundbreaking technology.

Making Targeted Investments and Acquisitions

A key part of Accenture’s quantum strategy has been to make strategic investments and acquisitions to assemble specialized expertise, intellectual property, and partnerships. For example:

  • In 2016, they became a founding member of the IBM Q Network to advance quantum computing platforms.
  • In 2018, Accenture acquired a small quantum software startup called Entropica to obtain quantum algorithm and application IP.
  • In 2021, Accenture created an undisclosed quantum investment fund to back more quantum startups.

Building a Robust Quantum Partnership Ecosystem

In the dynamic quantum computing industry, no one company will dominate across hardware, software, and applications. Realizing this, Accenture has prioritized building an ecosystem of partnerships with key industry players up and down the quantum stack. These partnerships provide clients with flexibility while also informing Accenture’s perspective on the market.

Key quantum partnerships for Accenture include:

  • Hardware Partners: IBM, Rigetti, IonQ, D-Wave
  • Software & Algorithm Partners: Phasecraft, Rahko, Entropica Labs
  • Cloud Services Partners: Amazon Braket, Microsoft Azure Quantum, IBM Quantum Network
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Launching Innovative Quantum Hybrid Strategy

As Neal Hartman, global semiconductor practice lead at Accenture, notes, “Quantum computing will first provide value by integrating with classical computing rather than replacing it.” This is the logic behind Accenture’s patented Quantum Hybrid Strategy approach.

Rather than wait for pure quantum advantage, this hybrid model allows current classical computers and future quantum systems to work symbiotically to deliver business value faster. Accenture believes a hybrid strategy will drive early quantum adoption.

Investing in Cutting Edge Quantum Research

While focused on near term quantum commercialization, Accenture also has skin in the game on pioneering quantum research through partnerships with organizations at the frontiers of physics and computer science.

These research initiatives aid long term quantum development while providing valuable IP and recruiting opportunities:

  • MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab: Developing AI algorithms for early quantum computers, in collaboration with MIT and IBM.
  • Chicago Quantum Exchange: Advancing quantum information science as part of this growing quantum research consortium.
  • Copenhagen University Niels Bohr Institute: Exploring foundational quantum cryptography research.

Building an Elite Quantum Services Talent Pipeline

Having the right talent is the fuel for innovation in the quantum industry. Accenture has been focused on developing an in-house talent pipeline of professionals with deep quantum expertise.

Strategies include:

  • Quantum training bootcamps: 1 week intensive introduction to quantum computing for new hires and existing consultants
  • Quantum Centers of Excellence: Advanced R&D quantum hubs located in Silicon Valley, Washington DC, and Sophia Antipolis, France
  • Patent driven talent recruitment: Acquiring startups like Entropica Labs to onboard specialized quantum PhDs and researchers

According to Accenture Managing Director Carl Dukatz, “We believe quantum talent will be in high demand, with not enough experts to fill all roles. Our talent focus aims to address this critical workforce need.”

Launching Practical Quantum Application Pilots

While quantum advantage could be a decade away in some domains, certain quantum applications are showing promise today. Accenture has worked closely with clients to launch pilots in areas like quantum machine learning, optimization, and simulation.

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Some examples include:

  • Airbus: Flight trajectory simulations using quantum computing with potential to reduce emissions.
  • J.P. Morgan: Quantum risk analysis models for asset pricing and portfolio optimization.
  • AstraZeneca: Quantum machine learning pilots to accelerate drug discovery pipelines.

Though small in scope today, these pilots provide value while charting the course to more advanced quantum use cases.

Introducing Enterprise Ready Quantum Offerings

As quantum adoption advances, Accenture aims to make this new technology easy for mainstream companies to explore. To that end, they have productized a range of flexible Quantum Solutions spanning consulting, services, platforms, and talent.

Flagship enterprise quantum offerings include:

  • Quantum Opportunity Scan: Structured assessment of a company’s quantum opportunities and threats.
  • Quantum Hybrid Strategy Roadmap: Custom quantum adoption plan tailored to clients’ existing IT landscapes.
  • Quantum Application Development: Building customer quantum software solutions and MVPs backed by Accenture IP, talent, and partners.
  • Quantum Cybersecurity Shield: Suite of quantum encryption and data security products and services.
  • Quantum Industry Solutions: Pre configured quantum application solutions tailored for major verticals like manufacturing, finance, energy, health, and more.

With these offerings, Accenture aims to make sophisticated quantum capabilities simple and accessible for customers anywhere on their quantum journey.

Positioned to Lead the Quantum Gold Rush

As the quantum opportunity accelerates, Accenture believes now is the time to plant their flag. With early investments in talent, IP, and partnerships, they aim to emerge as the global professional services powerhouse in the quantum computing market.

Other large IT consultancies like Deloitte, BCG, and McKinsey have also debuted quantum offerings recently. But as first movers since 2015, Accenture feels it has an edge in experience and execution. The next decade will determine who leads the quantum gold rush. But by all indications, Accenture has positioned itself well for this emerging multi billion dollar market.

Conclusion

Quantum computing represents the next frontier of technological disruption and market opportunity. By recognizing this early, Accenture has made quantum a strategic priority, not just an emerging technology curiosity. With significant investments across research, partnerships, pilots, offerings, and recruiting top talent, Accenture aims to be the professional services frontrunner in a quantum industry projected to reach $64 billion by 2030. As this powerful new computing paradigm moves towards the mainstream, no company is better prepared to guide clients on the quantum high wire than Accenture.

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FAQs

What Quantum Computing hardware startups does Accenture partner with?

Some of Accenture’s key hardware partners include IBM, Rigetti, IonQ, and D-Wave considered leading startups pushing quantum computer engineering and science.

Is Accenture developing its own quantum computers?

No, Accenture relies on partnerships with hardware companies while focusing internally more on quantum software, applications, strategy consulting, and services that aim to drive client adoption and value.

What industries are the priority for Accenture’s quantum computing focus today?

Accenture sees early potential in industries like finance for areas like risk modeling and optimization as well as the health and life sciences sector for accelerated drug discovery. Manufacturing and energy are also priority verticals.

What is Accenture’s Quantum Hybrid Strategy?

This is Accenture’s patented approach to blending quantum and classical computing in hybrid applications allowing clients to get value now rather than wait 5-10 years for pure quantum advantage. Accenture sees hybrid models driving initial enterprise quantum adoption.

How many staff does Accenture have focused on quantum computing today?

Public numbers are not declared but Accenture is estimated to have over 100 professionals working on various quantum initiatives from research to consulting to IP development and partnership management across its global innovation hubs.

MK Usmaan