It may seem like a long horizon technology, but HCLTech is encouraging clients to start their preparations now for the changes quantum computing will bring to the market. Through several industry partnerships, HCLTech is helping businesses and institutions build readiness to adopt and harness the technology as soon as it arrives.
The global technology company, with more than 225,000 staff across 60 countries, has Australian clients across all major verticals. With a 30-year history of working closely with Microsoft, a connection that has grown into a 360-degree partnership, the company is eager to put a spotlight on preparations for the quantum computing era.
“We are seeing advances in quantum technology that meet the needs of many real-world applications like telecom, healthcare, logistics, chemical manufacturing, engineering, banking and financial services” says HCLTech Vice President Chris Tucker.
“There are significant ramifications here for cybersecurity, for climate change, for food security, and more. With the help of our partnership with Microsoft we can access quantum hardware via cloud and develop a space where we can test a wide range of hypotheses.”
Tucker feels it is crucial for industry to learn from the data revolution of the 1990s – even the past year in AI. Quantum requires significant preparation to understand the risks and opportunities that it will bring – and once this technology arrives it will rapidly change the status quo. And with the Australian government’s recent announcement of a National Quantum Strategy, there’s a clear drive to take a leadership position through local academic, industrial and commercial capabilities.
“One crucial area to prepare for is Quantum Safe Communications. It is really important to embrace the changes quantum cryptography will bring about before it penetrates mainstream life,” says Tucker.
“But more broadly, the adoption of quantum technologies will be based on the commercial benefits that can be identified. Just like the AI boom. This is why academia needs to work with industry – to understand the future of real-world applications now. It is very important for research institutions to partner with industry early adopters so they can test solutions in real world environments.”
HCLTech has also opened a dedicated business unit, Q-Labs, to operate as an advisory and consulting service for its clients across the globe. Q-Labs connects with research institutes, startups, and the open innovation ecosystem to create accelerated access opportunities for HCLTech clients.
One recent initiative was HCLTech’s Q-Academy program, in conjunction with Microsoft, which trained over 50 HCLTech staff on Microsoft’s Q# technology for building quantum algorithms. Q-Labs also holds regular ‘Inspiration Day’ events in partnership with its ecosystem partners and clients, bringing together leaders from different domains to share their thinking on specific problems and how quantum solutions could fit their needs.
HCLTech sees Microsoft Azure as an increasingly important area of development for access to quantum technologies, expecting to grow its collaboration in this area with Microsoft into the future.
“We are looking to create joint GTM solutions not only in quantum computing, but also in quantum ML areas,” says Tucker. “We currently have quantum consulting services available on the Azure marketplace, but we will soon introduce quantum solutions as well.”
HCLTech notes that it’s important for businesses and partners to have conversations now and prepare for the significant changes to come from the breakthrough technology.
“Quantum computing could help solve some of the world’s oldest problems. New materials, new drugs, grid optimisation, and cures for chronic diseases. Investing time in this domain now will ensure businesses are ready to jump on the train as soon as it leaves the station.”