B13 CEO Jon Swinbourne wins national award
Our CEO, Jon Swinbourne, has been awarded the Software Development CEO of the Year 2022 - UK Award from the global business magazine, CEO Review.
It’s fantastic recognition for Jon, who is the driving force behind everything B13 does in his role as the bridge between individuals, businesses and technology.
A bit about Jon
Jon realised early on that he was not one for academia and the best way to learn was at the coalface. He left school at 16 and got to work as an apprentice at a local insurance company. It wasn’t long before his problem-solving and people skills came to the fore as he became the youngest area manager in the company's history.
Headhunted by a headhunter, Jon then carved out a niche in recruitment by being an early adopter of technology solutions and forged a reputation for openness and transparency. Inevitably, his entrepreneurial side emerged and he founded his first start-up at the age of 28.
Ideas and businesses came and went and of course, not all of them were a roaring success. But like all people who’ve made a big impact, Jon embraced the failures and learned more from them than he did the successes!
His strengths lie in leadership, problem-solving, stakeholder management, negotiation and creativity. If you have an idea or problem that technology might be able to solve, Jon will work with you to form an elegant, easy-to-understand solution.
B13 Technology and our partners are now the beneficiaries of everything he’s learned over the years.
He helped our founder and Managing Director, Tom Haworth, set up the company, and he joined as CEO soon after. The pair form a highly effective leadership team - Tom the technical expert, Jon the people-focused problem solver - our ‘in house entrepreneur’
In his role, Jon likes nothing better than sitting down with experts in their own field and putting himself in their shoes to understand their business needs and goals. He is the bridge between them and their tech solutions.
His approach is simple, but it works. Keep our customer’s interests at heart, be honest and open, and do the simple things well. It’s this approach that has not only enabled B13 to consistently deliver innovative and cost-effective solutions, but also ensured we forge genuine partnerships with our customers.
It’s this commitment to successful client partnerships that has earned Jon the recognition of this award. That, and B13’s reputation for ensuring quality, security and scalability in our solutions.
Nowhere are these qualities better demonstrated than in B13’s contribution to the COLCO project, led by the Manufacturing Technology Centre. The tech solution we provided was relatively simple - an app that digitised elements of the cacao supply chain in Colombia. But for Jon, the satisfaction came from the complex nature of the wider problem.
He was truly in his element, engaging with a range of partners, including governmental and private organisations in the UK and abroad, to understand their ever-changing needs and challenges.
And Jon’s values are exemplified by the positive impact of the project. Chief among these was enabling Colombian farmers to access a safer and more sustainable way of life. You can read more about the COLCO project and B13’s contribution in this case study.
Using technology for business
Jon’s beliefs permeate everything we do at B13. Firstly, that technology is a force for good. Also, that tech should support business goals - not the other way around.
Many of B13’s projects involve supporting business leaders who are reliant on tech but don’t fully understand how it works or impacts their business. In some cases, businesses have to change the way they work around the technology, or leaders are even held to ransom by their development teams.
This usually happens when a business has quite a complex tech stack that only a few developers know how to manage. This makes them very difficult to replace. Developers may run technology in a way that doesn’t align with business goals, or they may even make excessive demands of leaders. Leaders often have no choice but to go along with it, or risk developers leaving and crippling the business.
In these cases, honest and open conversations with leaders are paramount in understanding the unique goals and challenges of a business. Following that, our teams of analysts and software experts can go in and provide business leaders with a roadmap to a sustainable solution. Supporting them in finding this solution is always Jon’s priority - regardless of whether or not they choose B13 to provide it.
This award provides recognition that we do things a bit differently at B13. It acknowledges the human, honest, caring element we bring to our partnerships - things that are sometimes missing from other areas of software development.
Your tech situation
While we don’t do what we do to win awards, we certainly welcome it as confirmation that we’re onto something good here. We hope it encourages more businesses to reach out to us for their tech solutions.
If you’re interested in an honest and open conversation and advice about your tech situation, we always welcome you to get in touch with us.