Enabling the Modern Workforce
By: Lance Vaughn, Founder & CEO, Rails Developer
“Daily commute” has a very different definition to some technology executives and developers. Instead of jumping in a car, crawling on a freeway or tuning into the drive time radio show, we’re more likely to walk down the hall to a home office or collaborate at a co-working space.
At CabForward we live this every day. One day a week, we work out of Tech Ranch Austin in North Austin. One day a week, we work out of Vuka in South Austin. All other times, we work anyway we want to, whether we are in our homes, at shared offices, or anywhere in the world. We get more done, we optimize face-to-face time, save a ton in overhead and we contribute to the local shared tech economy. It works for us.
The concept of a dispersed workforce is becoming more common thanks to new and evolving technologies. It was the smartphone that kicked off this era of wireless connectivity and this has grown to include video conferencing, video chat, Instant Messaging and cloud-based storage.
Expanded access to broadband connectivity has delivered these benefits in ways that most of us couldn’t have predicted even 5 years ago. Modern networks and high-tech devices have facilitated greater efficiency and productivity for individuals and businesses.
Nowhere does this ring true more than in Austin, with our thriving high-tech sector of skilled tech workers, startups and entrepreneurs. TechAmerica just named Texas the second fastest-growing tech state in the country. Between 2011 and 2012, Texas added 10,000 tech jobs, also earning us the second-place spot nationwide. Both Google and AT&T have decided to bring gigabit fiber service to Austin, further cementing our region’s status as a tech hot spot. I’m eager for our company and our community to reap the rewards of all this innovation and growth.
We want to hire more people and continue our unique work model. And we can do it as long as regulations keep pace with tech companies and our growing workforce. Earlier this month, telecommunications industry analyst Dr. Anna-Maria Kovacs released a new report detailing just how much is lost when outdated regulations are allowed to stand: The FCC still requires phone companies to build and maintain old-fashioned voice-centric networks networks even though 99 percent of all U.S. communications traffic is now carried over broadband-enabled platforms. This costs about $13.5 billion a year. I’d rather see that money be used to create better, faster services. I know my development staff would appreciate that.
Today’s regulations should reflect today’s reality that most Americans have moved onto better technologies in every aspect of their lives and there is no sign of going back. Texan lawmakers have shown insight here and I hope their vision extends to their federal counterparts and public policies that affect how we connect.