Rene – Hi! Welcome to QuBites! Your bite-sized pieces of quantum computing. My name is Rene from Valorem Reply and today we're going to talk about quantum computing and business analysis for green business, a very important topic. And for this I'm very honored to have not one but two expert guests today, Sara Felloni and Prassede Colombo. Hi Sara and Hi Prassede, Welcome to the show. How are you today?
Prassede - Oh fine Rene, Sara. Thank you for inviting me to your session.
Sara - Hi Prassede, Hi Rene. Always a pleasure.
Rene – Awesome! Well let's start with Prassede. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and as your background as it relates to quantum computing, business analysis and all the related topics today.
Prassede - Okay sure. Today, I am representing IIBA Italy Charter, the Italian chapter of the worldwide, leading organization in the business analysis discipline, the international institute of business analysis and I have been president of the charter for 14 years and I am a consultant and trainer in change management, business analysis, project management, Agile. What is important is that I like adapt and follow new trends and I'm very happy to be here with Sara today.
Sara - And I am business unit manager in quantum and accelerated computing at Data Reply. Regarding my academic background, after graduating in applied mathematics and achieving a PhD in informatics and quantum computing, I worked on research and development in quantum computing for several years. Afterwards, I joined Reply, moving to ICT and business consulting and since 2020 I joined Data Reply starting its quantum and accelerated computing business unit to promote and expand quantum projects and research initiatives within the company and with Reply’s customers and today together with Prassede I would like to focus on how quantum computing can gain a key role in a very important mission expanding green business and sustainability in our society.
Rene - Very important topics and before we talk about the quantum impact of that, actually let's define this terminology right? Like what is green business, what is sustainability. So Prassede can you explain to us what does sustainability actually mean and what is green business.
Prassede – Sure. First of all, it's not so easy and I will try. Let me say that there are different definitions to sustainability but one of the most common I like is the one presented by United Nations Sustainability means: meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Anyway, the different definitions converge on the idea to avoid the depletion of the natural resources in order to maintain a balanced ecosystem and preserve natural capital. This is very important because we have scarce resources today. And thinking to sustainability, we need to think about interdependences among environment. Environment society and economy and is also referred as planet people prosperity. It's called the triple Ps and we can say that sustainability business are green businesses that means that green business minimizes the negative impact on environment and society and try as much as possible to create a positive impact on the local, regional, global environment and in particular on the community on the society worldwide and in the economy. And let me say finally a sustainable green business is one that attempts to achieve the triple Ps, People Planet and Prosperity.
Rene – Awesome! I have never not heard about the triple Ps but it totally makes sense like planet, people, prosperity. That also sounds a little star trek, right? Prosperity kind of a thing. It's like hey seriously it's a very important part and as a follow-up, like you know, can you tell us how business analyst plays a role and what are the benefits of green business.
Prassede - I have to say that the business analysis plays a huge role because it's part of the definition of business analysis, get value and better outcomes for the community, for the society. Looking at the definition that we find in the in our bible of BA that is BABOK Guide, this definition is that the business analysis is the practice of enable change, evaluating the real need, now the real needs are the society needs, to recommend solution to issue to opportunities, to problems complex and deliver value to stakeholders, knowing the actual context and stakeholder is also planet not only people. It is important and in fact also the worldwide economic forum has stated that the relevant corporation are aligning their goals today to 17 SDGs or the 17 sustainable development goals of the United Nations because the objective is to create a sustainable value driving positive outcomes for business, for the economy, society and this is the true definition of stakeholder capitalism because today in this context of business analysis allows better outcomes considering needs stakeholders value, solutions context change and they are the key factors, the key aspects of the Business Analysis Core Concept Model. These are part of our discipline and for this reason it is very important the capability of business analysis and it is driving. Also the transformation of the actual traditional economic model based on the Take, Make, Waste to the circle economy model based on reusing, remanufacturing, recycling and also the digital transformation that is enabling the circular economy to address needs of the society: people planet and prosperity today are at the center of the business strategy. And for this reason business analysis is the glue to be able to exploit innovation, circular economy and technology for real sustainability development.
Rene - That makes sense. Thank you. Let's actually make the bridge interconnected to quantum. Sara, how can quantum computing be beneficial for green business.
Sara - Yes as the viewers of QuBites know very well quantum computing harnesses the phenomena of quantum mechanics aiming to deliver a huge leap forwarding computation solving highly complex computational problems that today's most powerful supercomputers cannot solve and are not expected to solve even in the future. Then we have quantum optimization which is one of the most mature areas of quantum computing. Also thanks to the fact that it can benefit from the use of high performing and market ready classical hardware such as graphic processing unit to bring working quantum solution in production today while we are still waiting for fully developed and reliable quantum hardware. Quantum optimization uses quantum algorithm to solve optimization problem finding among many possible combinations the best solution to the problem according to some defined criteria. The complexity and amount of data involved in real business optimization problems continue to rise and quantum optimization is able to solve successfully what is not practically solvable with classical optimization techniques. So why is all of this relevant and helpful for green business and sustainability? Well it's easy to see that optimization problems are natural candidates for green and sustainable business. In fact a more efficient use of resources means less consumption and less waste of such resources, leading to a reduced impact on environment. And a more efficient employment of the workforce means ensuring growth and profitability through a wiser and more sustainable business strategy leading to a greener way of doing business. In conclusion in business process optimization, the two goals of sustainability and profitability are not competing against each other but they can be pursued together in synergy naturally leading to a sustainable growth for business and organizations. And quantum computing is a very effective way to achieve this goals.
Rene – Yeah, that's a very good point especially with the optimization part of that right? So if we can well, I'm sure you will tell us some examples, but you know we talked about some of those before, right like schedule optimization, like how can you optimize a schedule for field service worker or something like this right if they don't have to drive that much. If they drive less, of course, there's a lot of carbon footprint saving involved. If that scales out to let's say 10 or 20 000 field service workers, right, that can be a huge beneficial. But let's actually talk what we at Reply and also IIBA and with Prassede are working together there. Can you both tell us a little bit about what is the collaboration we're doing and yeah what's ongoing there? Maybe we start with Prassede and then Sara.
Prassede - Anyway I completely agree with Sara relating to the prosperity, to the benefit of the green businesses because of the reduction of waste in the supply chain, reusing, recycle and rethinking the product. The data and the optimization are relevant and so I'm very happy about the collaboration between IIBA Italy Charter and Data Reply. We have started last year. We started to collaborate several years ago but on the subject of the sustainability we started last year with our major event organized during the year that is BAWI and the subject was sustainability. In this context Sara Felloni together with Antonella Crea were able to explain us how the use of quantum computing was relevant for the customer satisfaction, for the reduction of the waste and for the better outcomes. It was amazing for us see how technology can enable and support the sustainability. Data Reply is the one of our partner and it is sponsor of the IIBA Italy Chapter and they are helping us with their efforts, their professionals. They help us to see new trends, new subjects. So for us the professionalism of the consultants of Data Reply is relevant because they report to us case study, real use case and the application of business analysis in real project and they are showing us how the techniques, the competencies of business analysis are key today to transform a business model to review and redesign the processes and this was amazing. The experience that we had during the BAWI was excellent and we hope to go on in this path together.
Rene – Hey Sara, you want to tell us a little also? A little bit about the collaboration here.
Sara – Yes, yes. of course. So thanks to IIBA, the Italian business analysis workshop BAWI 2021 gave us the occasion to systematically explore where and how quantum optimization can support and expand green business initiatives. And even before that when structuring our approach to quantum computing and defining roadmaps for quantum initiatives in Reply and for our customers we have relied on business analysis and drawn inspiration from IIBA principle and best practices. And also quantum computing is a very innovative and disruptive technology and the aspects of business strategy adoption and change management are very important and pose significant challenges. Business analysis offers the right knowledge and tools to address all of them with success.
Prassede – Yes, it was amazing because we could see together the business analysis competencies and the technology together enabling new solutions and this is relevant for us.
Rene – Yeah, that's great. I'm sure that was a fantastic workshop. What is the impact we already achieved there, when it comes to business analysis and quantum computing in the field of the green business and can you share some insights or results and maybe we all again start with the Prassede and then Sarah.
Prassede – Yes, I have to say that we are seeing a great impact of business analysis and disruptive technology in green business because we are dealing with complex problems. We need to think out the box, we need to find new solutions because the organization are dealing with changes. They are rethinking business models, they are rethinking products, thinking to sustainability. So there are great changes right now and also they are transforming completely their supply chain to reduce waste. But also, for remanufacturing recycle reusing and reducing also the use of the scarce resources and it is amazing. And the SD Goals today must be part of company strategy and we have seen that there are five aspects that we need to analyze when we create a business case for sustainability. The first one we need to consider the opportunity because right now the size of green technology and sustainable market is close to 8.7 billion at a growth of about 27.1 percent. And the second one is the innovative capabilities that the organizations need to be competitive, and they need to transform their organization in sustainable organization but not also the organization but also country are changing and transforming themselves. So it is irrelevant also the activity of the government, of the regulations not only of the private company. And the third one is the value to stakeholders because right now we know that the 93 percent of the world's largest companies are now reporting sustainability. Sustainability is part of their strategy of the evaluation of their value. Because it is requested, it is a demand by their customers and this is relevant. The fourth one is the cost reduction as Sara said because we reduce waste we are working for efficient processes for sufficient supply chain for reducing waste and the last one but not less important, it is the brand value and reputation. We are saying that the companies that are having major results and success today are companies that have already activated the project for the digital transformation and for the sustainability. So the brand value reputation means that this is recognized at the international level and also company that are sustainable are also attracting talents and this to the companies and also they create new opportunities. Right now, people when have to decide in which company they want to work, they are looking also to the sustainability to create an impact to our society to improve our planet. Everybody today has to be aware of the impact of our actions on planet, people and prosperity. Some companies are already aware some less, some are not, and this is also for individuals. And in this context also during our BAWI we could see. All together we have a great opportunity to do something for the entire humanity and for the future of the next generations and it's very amazing. We can have an impact, we can do something and the common goal is a better word, and we need to put together all the disciplines professional skill, technology to deal with the challenge today. Relevant is the work in the ecosystem we know the product, the materials, and the chemicals, the physics, all the disciplines are relevant and so for example business analysis quantum computing is only one example. Also, IIBA Italy Chapter and Data Reply partnership is another example. We need to work together to solve this issue but it also an opportunity to exploit technology, new solution to solve this issue.
Sara - So I think Prassede has just explained very clearly why every organization today should look at green business not at some inconvenient requirement but as an inspiring mission as well as a great business opportunity for improvement and growth. And indeed, we are already implementing several success cases and production projects for green business, thanks to quantum computing and business analysis. We are supporting the energy sector by improving the processes to design, build, monitor and maintain energy facilities both in renewable energies and in traditional power sources. We are providing better solutions for delivery logistics and supply chain reducing costs deployment of ground level, inner fleets, distance travel, fuel consumption and environmental impact as Rene you were saying before. And we are improving traffic flows management for smart cities. We are contributing to the advancement in automated driving through optimal sensor configuration. We are also supporting the transition to electric vehicles through optimal expansion of charging rates and enhancement of electric batteries. And for several industry sectors we are optimizing the resource requirements in production lines as well as the workforce schedules and activity planning. And we are sure many more success cases will come.
Prassede - I agree, I agree, because there are so many opportunities and the technology is enabling this opportunities and also the BA competencies and capability. I agree, completely agree.
Rene - Yeah and that was already a very long list, Sara but it's just scratching the surface right? So much more and I mean, we're just getting started we're working with these quantum inspired optimization with this infancy of quantum hardware. But can still achieve meaningful things, right, even with the simulation of it and that's the real impact that's already can be achieved like significant stuff right? Also, I remember the Airbus quantum challenge, right, that Reply won, actually where they optimize the loading of a plane right? How can you optimally load a plane, the cargo and things like that so that they can you know max it out save fuel which in the end of course saves a lot of carbon and so yeah amazing stuff and I'm sure we could talk for much longer but unfortunately, we're already at the end of the show. Thank you so much Pressede and Sara for joining us today and sharing your insights. That was very much appreciated.
Sara - Thank you Rene for hosting us and thank you Prassede for bringing attention and insights on green business.
Prassede - Thank you for the opportunity to present business analysis discipline and to talk with you about green business and there are great opportunities for us to impact, to make the difference. This is what we want to do. Thank you.
Rene – Well, thank you so much and thanks everyone for joining us today for yet another episode of QuBites, your bite-sized pieces of quantum computing. Watch our blog and follow our social media channels to hear all about the next episodes and of course you can find all the previous episodes on our website, from season one to season five. Until then, take care. Take care of your people, take care of the planet and live long and prosper, bye bye!