News Consultants

News

Peet van Biljon shares a recently published article on quantum computing in finance.

There are two competing narratives on quantum computing. The first is that the technology is overhyped, still in its infancy, beset by enormous technical challenges and that full-scale, reliable quantum computers are decades away. The second is that many companies, including some of the world’s most prominent financial institutions such as Barclays, BBVA, JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and RBS are investing in, and experimenting with, quantum-computing applications and that business impact can be expected in the near term.

Which narrative is the correct one? Perhaps surprisingly, both are true. That creates an urgent need for finance leaders to understand the technology better in order to discern the short- versus medium-term implications for their companies, and to shape a viable quantum-computing strategy.

The information revolution of the last few decades was built on our ability to miniaturise transistors. In modern digital computers, now called classical computers to differentiate them from quantum computers, billions of little transistors switch on and off to execute binary logic. At the lowest level, a logical bit can either be a 1 (the transistor is on) or a 0 (the transistor is off).

Quantum bits, called qubits, are encoded and measured in two equivalent binary states called |0> or |1>, which are usually associated with the up or down spin of an electron. However, two strange properties of quantum mechanics, called superposition and entanglement, allow qubits to take on a continuum of non-binary values and interact with one another in that state to perform calculations. Any measurement collapses superposition, which means that the only two states a qubit can be measured in is either |0> or |1>.

While in superposition, qubits can be manipulated to process exponentially more information than classical bits. In fact, n qubits can process the same information as 2 to the power of n classical bits. When quantum computers eventually scale to hundreds of usable, error-corrected qubits, 2 to the power of n will become a truly astronomical number, allowing more calculations than classical computers can ever do. This explains the excitement about quantum computing technology.

 

Key points include:

  • The processing power of quantum computing technology
  • Managing qubits’ decoherence
  • translate real-world finance problems into quantum computing algorithms

 

Read the full article, Closer than you think – quantum computing in finance, on FinanciarWorldWide.com. 

 

Peet van Biljon shares a white paper on the benefits of ethics-driven innovation.

Is your company innovative? No doubt, you would like to say yes. Everyone wants to be innovative, which is why the word “innovation” appears frequently in annual reports and press releases. However, there can be a large gap between saying we are good at innovation and being truly good at it. How to close this gap is the topic of a multitude of publications on innovation management, and keeps many innovation consultants busy.

Is your company a force for good in society? Again, yes is probably your answer. Claims about how a company’s business activities benefit society are quite common, as evidenced by the promotion of corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives in glossy publications, press releases, and well-produced videos. But again there can be a gap between words and reality, as seen in corporate scandals and day-to-day business actions that contradict claims of caring for stakeholders and communities.

Now let us combine these two questions and ask a third one: Do your company’s innovations contribute to the greater good of humanity? This is an important question that needs to be asked more often,  because innovation and ethics are deeply intertwined.

While it is possible to be “innovative” without serving a positive social purpose, and conversely possible  to be “socially responsible” without being innovative, most companies strive to be both. So how can a company achieve these values? This paper introduces Ethics-driven Innovation®[i], an innovation process designed to meet this challenge. The good news – as we shall see – is that knowing why you want to innovate, and whom you want to serve in society, will make you better at both innovation and ethics.

 

Key points include:

  • The inadequacy of traditional CSR
  • Portfolio of initiatives
  • Constraints-based creativity

 

Access the white paper, Good at Innovation or Innovating for Good, on EthicsDrivenInnovation.com.