Apr 2015

Former rugby star transfers on-field skills to new company

Former Rugby Union star Mike Cawthorn is channelling his performance improvement expertise into a new company aimed at helping accelerate businesses performance through better use of technology.

Cawthorn has joined CatalystIT Solutions, a national consulting services and business solutions company based in York. At Catalyst, Cawthorn is working alongside Mark Godliman, a business change and strategic planning expert, and consulting and Virtual Chief Information Officer (vCIO) specialist Richard Jones, heading up a team focused on helping business leaders have better visibility over their companies’ performance, and so drive efficiencies and accelerate growth.

He says: “The day-to-day challenges of running a business, coupled with the fact its technology may not have kept pace with the company’s development, can too often obscure its true performance.

“Increased visibility and access empowers business managers to solve issues, save money and resource and focus on growth. Streamlining the technology underpinning the company is key to achieving that.” Cawthorn, 42, a former England colt who played for Leeds during their rise through the leagues in the late 1990s, with spells at Wakefield and Hull Ionians, believes skills honed on the pitch have served him well.

He says: “In competitive sport the focus is all about performance improvement. As a rugby team, for example, you don’t focus on the try itself but on enabling the team to improve its performance so tries are scored.

“In the same way, at Catalyst we’re looking to show business managers how they can use their own information technology to identify areas of growth – and see exactly how to achieve their vision efficiently.

“Managers should be able to access business intelligence information instantly, even while on the road and using a mobile device, without having to ask someone in IT to write a report. They should have the visibility on the business to make the right decisions at the right time.”

Cawthorn has many years’ worth of experience of generating high growth opportunities and developing strategies in business intelligence, customer relationship management and Enterprise Resource Planning in both the public and private sectors, and on the client side and provider side of business.

One of his notable successes was the creation of a business intelligence framework for the whole of NHS Scotland which drove a reduction in hospital standard mortality rates for a number of hospital trusts by giving clinicians improved visibility of patient data.

This was one of his achievements while working for York-based technology solutions provider Trustmarque. For four years until 2014, Cawthorn was key to the company’s development during that time from a £200,000 a year business division to one with a £7 million turnover.

As Business Intelligence Practice Lead, Cawthorn developed a number of business intelligence platforms for central government departments, large financial services organisations, healthcare, corporate customers and regulators.

Before joining Trustmarque, he worked in a variety of planning and economic development roles for East å Borough Council and East Riding of Yorkshire Council and was part of the team which established the Press Association’s purpose-built Operations Centre in Howden, East Yorkshire, in 2002-3. He then worked with the Press Association as Business Development Director during an important growth period for the national news agency.

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