Revolutionizing Business Optimization: Insights from Dell and EY

This blog is co-authored by Dr. Kristin M. Gilkes, Global Innovation Quantum Leader, EY.

Organizations of all sizes are starting to dip their toes into quantum computing and quickly discovering the technology comes with its own unique set of challenges. In a recent white paper, Dell and EY, identified a technological breakthrough that can drastically reshape the landscape of business problem-solving: quantum annealing and its enormous potential for solving complex quantum optimization problems.

While the potential of quantum computing is vast, the complexity of quantum optimization problems, dependence on accurate and up-to-date data, along with the uncertainty of many factors, such as quantum decoherence, algorithmic complexity, scalability, interpretability and integration, make it difficult to fully tap into its potential. This is where quantum annealing comes in.

Quantum annealing forms the core of the approach Dell and EY outline. This method is ideal for addressing complex business optimization problems that become increasingly difficult, or even impossible, to solve using classical algorithms as the number of variables grows. Quantum annealing can take a “landscape” of potential solutions and, leveraging quantum effects, “tunnel” through to find the lowest points — the optimal solutions — faster than classical computers can.

From startups to large corporations, businesses face complex optimization problems daily that could benefit from this type of solution. For a business, this could be maximizing revenue and minimizing costs, while in healthcare it could lead to optimizing resource allocation and patient scheduling, all while juggling multiple variables and constraints. As businesses grow and organizational challenges increase, finding the ideal solution becomes increasingly difficult with conventional computing methods.

With the use of quantum unconstrained binary optimization (QUBO), Dell and EY have successfully applied quantum annealing to real-world optimization problems like portfolio optimization. The teams demonstrate a complex optimization equation could be solved within minutes using quantum annealing, providing insights that were previously unattainable using classical methods.

QUBO offers businesses immediate advantages as an interim solution while awaiting the maturity of gate-based quantum processors. Apart from portfolio management, Dell and EY outline how quantum annealing can solve other business challenges, including scheduling problems, logistics, energy optimization and machine learning problems.

While the applications of quantum computing are wide-ranging, it’s crucial to understand that its scalability, in comparison to classical solvers, is heavily dependent on the specific nature and size of the problem at hand. Dell and EY share a goal: to illuminate the immense potential of quantum computing in the realm of business optimization. As we find ourselves on the precipice of a quantum revolution, the impending transformation promises to be nothing short of extraordinary.

Download the complete white paper here.