Zapata survey finds that early adopters have quantum computing budgets of more than $1M


The small study finds that the most advanced quantum adopters are 70% more likely than all enterprise leaders to invest workforce development.


A survey of 300 IT leaders around the world found that early adopters of quantum computing are investing in workforce development and experimenting to prepare for the quantum era.

Image: Zapata Computing

Quantum computing is no longer an R&D effort and has become a tool to gain competitive advantage within the next few years, according to a new survey commissioned by Zapata Computing. The survey of 300 IT leaders found that 28% are investing more than $1 million annually in quantum efforts with 37% of early adopters spending more than that.

If quantum computing is not yet mainstream, the technology is well on its way. The survey found that 69% of enterprises across the globe have adopted or are planning to adopt quantum computing in the next year. Those who have already adopted in some form are close to one-third of the market at 29%. 

Christopher Savoie, CEO of Zapata, said in a press release that he is already seeing how the leaders in quantum adoption are separating themselves from the rest of the pack. 

“They are starting to build solutions that strategically leverage today’s quantum devices within mostly classical applications,” he said. “Those that are the furthest ahead aren’t just investing in quantum to avoid losing — they’re playing to win.”

Quantum computing: A cheat sheet

The survey also found that:

  • 41% of quantum adopters expect a competitive advantage within two years
  • 36% of US respondents are in the early or advanced stages of quantum adoption
  • Adoption is highest in the transportation industry
  • Machine learning is the most common use cases
  • German companies are the most confident about achieving competitive advantage with quantum within two years at 44%, followed by Canada at 38%, the UK and Australia at 33% each, and the US at 31%

According to the survey, 12% of early and advanced quantum adopters expect to achieve some form of competitive advantage within the next year with 41% expecting an advantage within two years.

The survey found that early adopters are taking these steps to prepare for quantum computing:

  • 51% are identifying talent and building an internal team
  • 49% are experimenting and building proof of concept projects
  • 48% are running experiments on quantum hardware or simulators
  • 46% are building new applications

The most advanced quantum adopters are 70% more likely than all enterprise leaders to invest in quantum for workforce development. This makes sense given the overall shortage of tech talent, particularly for a new sector such as quantum computing. 

Nir Minerbi, co-founder and CEO of Classiq, said that the talent shortage is another factor limiting the growth of the industry. 

“Analysis from McKinsey estimates that in 2025, there will be a demand for about 10,000 positions, whereas supply will only be less than 50%,” he said. “Only by 2030 will supply catch up with demand.”

Minerbi said that outsourcing is a short-term approach to the problem. 

“Outsourcing can alleviate the short-term challenge but does not help in building internal quantum expertise and developing IP that remains within the company,” he said.

Classiq’s  Quantum Algorithm Design platform automates the process of converting high-level functional models into optimized quantum circuits.

The Zapata survey also found that complexity is the greatest barrier to adoption with 96% of respondents being unable to explain the technology with a brief summary. 

The survey found other concerns that were more familiar, such as integrating quantum computing with the existing enterprise IT stack and worries about vendor lock-in. Almost all the survey respondents (96%) said they need help from a vendor to succeed with quantum computing but 73% are simultaneously worried about lock-in and 39% cite the issue as a barrier to adoption.

Wakefield Research conducted the survey of 300 leaders (CIOs, CTOs and other VP-level and above executives) at large global enterprises with estimated 2021 revenues of over $250 million, and estimated computing budgets over $1 million.

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