Launceston could be a Silicon Valley: IT executive

CAPACITY: Eaglecrest Technologies' new chief executive David Pretorius believes Launceston has a great digital future ahead. Picture: Supplied
CAPACITY: Eaglecrest Technologies' new chief executive David Pretorius believes Launceston has a great digital future ahead. Picture: Supplied

Eaglecrest Technologies’ new chief executive officer is optimistic and excited to lead a Launceston technology company into the future. 

David Pretorius takes on the top role after a stint at Anderson Morgan – the company that brought WiFi to Launceston.

The established executive was excited join a new environment at Eaglecrest Technologies. 

“It’s such a clean and professional looking ICT technology building,” he said.

“The technical team themselves- they’re really open to new ideas and you can see them wanting to learn.”

With a staff of eight, Eaglecrest Technologies takes on the IT responsibility for Tasmanian businesses. 

”A lot of businesses aren't big enough to have their own IT person so we look after their systems,” he said.

Mr Pretorius said it was vital the company was proactive and also provided high-level IT strategies for business. 

“It’s not just about fixing computers it’s about how can we use the NBN, how can we take advantage of gigabit internet,” he said.

His beliefs are in stark contrast to the traditional IT companies that are technology focused and technology led.

“They can be a very funny little crowd,” he said. 

“We want businesses and people to be enabled by technology.”

“Unless we’re going to do something really good in a business with it, then there’s no point in it.”

Mr Pretorius said it could be difficult to get business owners to understand the benefits of new technology.

“Businesses don’t really care about the technology – you just need your laptop to work,” he said. 

As the world moves at light-speed towards an online future, Mr Pretorius is optimistic for the future of business in the city. 

“In Launceston, there’s a lot that's going to happen in the next five years with the university – I’d like to think of it almost as a Tasmanian-based Silicon Valley,” he said. 

Vital security 

Several years ago most of the ransomware attacks on Tasmania were targeted on the North-West Coast and in Hobart.

But in the previous 18 months Launceston has been increasingly in the cross hairs.

Mr Pretorius said it was vital businesses understood the importance of strong cyber security.

“Business owners have left this type of thing entirely up to the IT company or the IT person,” he said. 

“This is a risk to a business like a fire.”

He said without owners investing in good security and processes, they were vulnerable.