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IDC forecasts quantum computing market to grow to $8.6 billion by 2027

By Catherine Knowles, Wed 1 Dec 2021

International Data Corporation (IDC) forecasts the worldwide quantum computing market to grow to $8.6 billion in 2027.

IDC has published its first forecast for the worldwide quantum computing market, projecting customer spend for quantum computing to grow from $412 million in 2020 to $8.6 billion in 2027.

This represents a 6-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 50.9% over the 2021-2027 forecast period.

The forecast includes core quantum computing as a service as well as enabling and adjacent quantum computing as a service.

IDC states that major breakthroughs in quantum computing technology, a maturing quantum computing as a service infrastructure and platform market, and the growth of performance intensive computing workloads suitable for quantum technology will drive the majority of the market growth over the forecast period.

IDC also expects investments in the quantum computing market will grow at a 6-year CAGR (2021-2027) of 11.3% and reach nearly $16.4 billion by the end of 2027.

This includes investments made by public and privately funded institutions, government spending worldwide, internal allocation (R&D spend) from technology and services vendors, and external funding from venture capitalists and private equity firms.

Like any breakthrough technology of the last few decades, the industry will pour billions of dollars into making the technology commonplace and ready for mass adoption.

The closest comparison is classical computing, the very technology that quantum computing is setting out to disrupt.

IDC anticipates that these investments will cause current limited quantum computing capabilities to be replaced by a new generation of quantum computing solutions, leading to the development of new use cases and market segments that will accelerate the adoption of quantum computing to gain a competitive advantage.

As a result, the quantum computing market will see a surge in customer spend toward the end of the forecast period. IDC sees 2021 as a pivotal year in the quantum computing industry.

Strategic approaches implemented to reach quantum advantage became more defined as vendors published quantum computing roadmaps emphasising methods for improving qubit scaling and error correction, sought new funding opportunities by going public or partnering with government, educational, or private entities, or merged in anticipation of offering a more full-stack approach.

For most vendors, these approaches included the further development of the quantum ecosystem. This trend promises to continue into 2022 and beyond as quantum computing vendors progress towards quantum advantage and enterprise businesses seek a competitive advantage using current and emerging quantum technologies.

IDC global research lead for performance intensive computing Peter Rutten says, "For many critical problems, classical computing will run out of steam in the next decade and we will see quantum computing take over as the next generation of performance-intensive computing.”

IDC senior research analyst Infrastructure Systems, Platforms and Technologies Group Heather West says, "Advances in quantum computing will be a drumbeat over time with the most distant advances being most relevant to the most complex problems.

"Organisations should start experimenting now using quantum road maps to guide their quantum journey.”

The IDC report, Worldwide Quantum Computing Forecast, 2020-2027: An Imminent Disruption for the Next Decade, provides a worldwide market forecast for a composite view of customer spend for quantum computing (hardware, software, cloud, and other services) for the 2021-2027 period.

As part of this forecast, IDC breaks out core quantum computing as a service, and enabling and adjacent quantum computing as a service customer spend.

The report also provides a market overview, including trends in quantum computing investments, as well as drivers and challenges for quantum computing vendors and cloud service providers.

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