Ruff, ruff … and he’s gone.
That’s all it takes for our friendly and otherwise obedient dog Buddy to escape.
Despite our family’s best efforts to provide him with an unlimited supply of food, toys, treats and love, Buddy seems to have a constant desire to run away from us. We’ve had this problem for years — fail to close the front door in time and Buddy will make a break for it.
Maybe it’s bad parenting on our part, or maybe it’s a new generation of dogs who are seeking more independence, but when Buddy leaves the house he won’t return until he’s ready. Calling his name, whistling, yelling “treat” — nothing works. He has us frantically driving the neighborhood for hours before we eventually find him covered with mud and panting happily on our back porch. I should have been more open to a high-tech solution to this canine high jinx.
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In my day job as a tech CEO, I spend most of my time helping clients implement technology that will help their businesses profit and grow. Most people are willing to spend money on technology if it helps them make more money.
But wise investment in technology is not the only tech element that can lead to profitability. The other benefit of tech expenditures is centered around “managing risk.” The goal of risk management is to simply keep things from going wrong.
I had forgotten about risk management when 6 months ago our tech-savvy 15-year-old suggested that we invest in a dog-friendly GPS tracking collar for Buddy. For $130 and $12 per month, we could use a mobile app to track Buddy’s whereabouts whenever he made his weekly run. Useful? Yes. Cool? Very much so. But, my inner (and outer) cheapskate-ness would not allow to me to commit to another monthly expense. I said no.
Three weeks ago, Buddy snuck out through our garage. It was 11 at night, dark and rainy. As usual my wife and I started walking the neighborhood, hoping we could track him down. Walking through the pouring rain in the middle of the night wondering if your pet was hit by a car or lost forever is not fun.
Around 1 a.m., soaking wet, worried and tired, we started driving every block within a 3-mile radius hoping we would find Buddy. Discouraged and upset, we abandoned our search a couple of hours later and returned home empty-handed.
If only I had invested in the pet GPS tracker a few months before. My failure to leverage a relatively inexpensive technology was a mistake.
Luckily the next morning we got a call from a good Samaritan just around the corner. Buddy was alive and well! Apparently, his keen nose had led him to a garage that had some scraps of chicken in a garbage can. To his credit, Buddy decided to stay the night until the rain subsided.
Depending on luck to mitigate risks is, well … risky.
In business, spending money to make money is always good. But spending money to avoid losing money is equally important. Using technology to proactively mitigate Murphy’s Law (“what can go wrong will go wrong”) doesn’t have to be complex or expensive. Antivirus software, cloud backup services, firewalls — just like Buddy’s GPS collar, they are relatively low-cost solutions to keep small problems from becoming life-changing disasters.
Believe it or not, Buddy got out again just a few days ago. Only this time, with our newly purchased pet-GPS tracker and mobile app, we were ready. We tracked him straight to the same neighbor’s garage (aka doggie buffet) where he had spent the rainy night. They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but when it comes to managing risks, I have learned my lesson.
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