Covid-19 rallying cry to local Laois businesses

OPINION: CEO of Laois firm Ortus Managed IT & Cloud looks to future after Covid-19

Cian Prendergast, CEO, Ortus Managed IT & Cloud

Reporter:

Cian Prendergast, CEO, Ortus Managed IT & Cloud

ortus

The Ortus Managed IT & Cloud team

The curve balls thrown at us in business, go on to define us and without a shadow of a doubt, the universe has just thrown us an almighty one!

In my experience there are two types of company and leaders in a crisis. Those propelled into action with fear and those caught in the headlights with fear. The main difference is which one they choose. Attitude literally is everything. It’s the difference between success and failure and every person I know and consider to be a success has an attitude of success that almost glows from them. It’s contagious.

My rallying cry for businesses here in the midlands is simple…… Will you be the leader who was born in a crisis? The leader who re-invented themselves? The leader who re-invented their business and went on to thrive….. maybe not this month, maybe not next month, maybe not for a while, but in the eye of the storm who will choose to lay the foundations to thrive. I know which one I have chosen.

As the Covid drama unfolded and the predictable fear kicked in I was reminded of 2008. I had quit a full time well paid and pensionable job to start Ortus. Within 60 days of setting up a company the economy had crashed. The fear of failure and not being able to support a family was crippling.

I would go as far as to say the fear at times had a physical as well as mental affect on me. Only when one is backed into a corner of such magnitude do we truly know what we are made of and what internal strength we have. What I didn’t know then but I do know now is that I used that fear to fuel me. In chaos there is opportunity and in 2008 Ortus brainstormed day and night to identify the opportunity.

People didn’t want capital expenditure but having researched it worldwide we knew that there dependency on IT to find technical solutions for business problems was going to be high. On a shoestring budget out of a shed with two second hand laptops Ortus was born. We made a five year plan. A plan I update monthly still to this day. We have grown over 20% year on year since then, now have offices in Dublin, Cork and Galway as well as our head quarters in Laois and have 30 high tech, high skilled jobs, 20 of them are in Laois.

Unlike the opportunists who move small satellite offices to Laois and wave a flag for one day a year, we are proud to truly be a Laois company who provide a global service and bring that money to Laois. Next month we will be launching our Switzerland operation to manage our swiss clients who will make up about 9% of our business. I’m not writing this to brag or boast, here in Laois that’s a sin!

My point to anyone that is crippled by fear is that I don’t believe Ortus would be where it is today without the 2008 recession. It forced us into action. It forced us to innovate. It forced us to think outside the box. We had to outthink, outwork and outmanoeuvre our competitors to become the biggest Managed Service provider in the midlands and in the top 5% of managed service providers nationwide. Most importantly for me it gives me the chance to pursue what I love. Finding great people, giving them a chance and watching them grow.

Ortus will be a bigger, better run, more dynamic and more innovative company when this is over. I make no excuses for looking at what’s happening and offering solutions that propel our business. Needless to say we ensure we give back too as social and community responsibility is vital and the duty of all responsible companies, particularly now. There is no point in hiding behind a facade of blame and denial.

Cursing our luck or blaming the government doesn’t enable us to thrive.

Adapt.

Motivate your team.

Dust yourself off.

Get up and fight.

Curveballs have always been there and they will keep coming. Business and leadership growth is not about avoiding curveballs…. It’s about learning to adjust your swing.