business continuity as a service (BCaaS): an overlooked benefit of (rural) remote teams

Remote teams are becoming more and more popular for many tech companies. This structure can help save a company money on office space. It allows a company to access help from talented folks that don't live in the same area. It can provide flexibility for remote team members. It can provide a mechanism to construct more diverse teams to help build higher quality products. Folks from rural and urban areas. Folks from different parts of the world, etc. There are entire lists of pros and cons for organizing teams in this way. Those lists typically end up with more pros than cons. The item often missing from those lists is business continuity.

Earthquakes happen. Hurricanes hit. Businesses still need to meet the needs of their customers when real world chaos hits. I've worked remotely in a rural part of South Carolina for over seven years now. In addition to the typical duties, I've always wanted to make sure my team mates can count on me if they live at the coast and need to evacuate a hurricane (or they experience an earthquake). As I've looked for ways to improve my ability to keep systems running and code shipping in the event of an unexpected natural disaster, I worked with my brother to construct a relatively inexpensive off-grid solar powered battery bank on a repurposed four wheeler trailer. When hard times hit, we've got plenty of power to run cable modem, cell phones, and local computers for as long as needed. We use this set up during typical days to just offset the power we pull from the grid.

In constructing an off-grid solar powered system, I also realized it could be a (literally) powerful project to help educate others about solar power. We can also replicate it in various sizes for other folks looking to work remotely in other rural areas so that they can offer business continuity in addition to their tech skills. Since this off-grid solar power system also incorporates an onboard raspberrypi handling metrics collection for observability, we can also use it to help teach different programming and computer concepts to folks looking to apply their rural problem solving skills in technology. This side project to help out with business continuity will likely end up as one of the flagship projects for hub-ology.

If you're looking for a way to further differentiate yourself as a remote employee for a technology company, you can make your own solarshed and start advertising BCaaS!

If you'd like to build your own solarshed, you can find parts lists on Amazon: solarshed parts list or solarshed mini parts list If you order parts from Amazon, please consider making hub-ology your non-profit of choice if you don't already have another good cause set for Amazon Smile.

Solarshed Trailer (front) more ...