Where Are They Now: Bernadette Brown

"I often say I could write a book about the mistakes I've made along the way. Making mistakes are all part and parcel in learning."

We interview women in our community about innovation and what drives them to make a difference in their industries. We caught up with Bernadette Brown, Director of Cogito Group to see what she’s been doing since we last spoke.

 What are your big wins/challenges since we last spoke?

I’m a big one for business strategy planning. The biggest challenge since we last spoke is obviously COVID. THE global pandemic that made it virtually impossible to plan and forced us to pivot because as we all know it impacted supply chain, resource availability, travel, EVERYTHING.

Our big win was how we supported staff and clients through it. We didn’t need to rely on job keeper, in fact we witnessed unprecedented demand and interest over 2020 & 2021. Resellers across the globe, including Singapore, India, Canada and the US reached out to us for information on our products. In our more established markets, we made even greater inroads. For example, in the height of COVID we onboarded approximately 90 New Zealand Government agencies to our Jellyfish as a Service platform. Many of the agencies had unique challenges, like Antarctica New Zealand. It required ‘an all hands on deck’ approach while also ensuring quality of process while we scaled. We’ve continued to find, particularly in New Zealand, where Jellyfish is used by a number of government organisations, the benefits realised by these agencies through our software have been infinite. These continue to be challenging but exciting times as we continue to research and develop innovative and unique solutions.

What advice would you give to yourself 5 years ago?

Hmmm…five years ago the business was about 5 years old, so we were out of the toddler years and into the teen years of rapid growth and overseas expansion.
I think I’d just tell myself to keep trusting my instincts. I often say I could write a book about the mistakes I’ve made along the way. Making mistakes are all part and parcel in learning. There is no running away from it. You have be resilient and pick yourself up and keep going.
Although I’d definitely tell myself to make sure I find time to exercise, stay healthy and do as much travel as possible.

 What do you want to ask your future self?

Nothing – I love surprises.

What are you proud of right now?

I’m proud that as a Canberra company we continue to support local. This year we’ve made a 3 year commitment to sponsor M16 Artspace in Canberra. We all know how artists have been impacted in the last few years and I’m really proud we are able to help, in a small way, our community.

From a cyber security perspective we are doing some really clever things around shared network and services infrastructure. We’ve developed software that enables users in multi-tenanted government buildings to consume services securely without the need to duplicate the infrastructure. It is one- trust point. Basically, it shares the one connection idea of the network service with an ‘all of government’ directory or identity store of users, devices and other resources.

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