Longtime Gwinnett-based information technology company, RocketIT, celebrated its 25th anniversary, but the company may not have ever come into existence had it not been for a major change in Matt Hyatt’s life in the mid-1990s.
Hyatt had been let go from an IT job and was looking at what he should do with his life. As a kid, his dream was to own a business, although he didn’t know at that time what any business he owned would do, so when he was let go from his previous job, he took it as an impetus to make his childhood dream come true in January 1995.
“I didn’t plan on getting laid off from my last job, and I sometimes wonder, if that hadn’t happened, would I still work there or not,” Hyatt said. “But I did and so ever since then, I’ve been focused on building RocketIT.”
RocketIT celebrated its 25th anniversary Thursday with a reception at its new office in Suwanee, with local elected officials, city of Suwanee officials and Gwinnett Chamber representatives present.
A lot has happened since RocketIT was founded, including the rise of the Dot Com bubble — and its even bursting — as well as the emergence of smartphones, cryptocurrency, tablet computers and cloud-based software.
There has also been a growing need to address cyber security over the last quarter century.
The company has grown over the years, starting with two employees and growing to now employ more than 20 people. The company, which sponsors the Gwinnett Chamber’s monthly OnTopic series, has received awards from the local chamber and been a finalist for an award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Hyatt said the company has a deeper focus than just fixing computers and keeping networks running, however.
“IT happens to be the skillset that we have, but it’s bigger than that,” he said. “It’s about our underlying purpose of helping people be successful. Helping people thrive is what’s really important to us.”
It has also moved a couple of times as it has grown, starting in Norcross, then unincorporated Lawrenceville and eventually moving to Duluth. The company marked its 25th birthday this past week by cutting the ribbon to open its newest home, on Martin Farm Road in Suwanee, on Thursday night.
“Coming up on two years ago, Matt and Maureen (Hyatt, Matt’s wife) bought this building,” Rocket IT Vice-President of Services Ryan Bonilla said. “This is a vision that they’ve had for a long time. Many small business owners want to have a place of their own, and we’ve had an office down in Duluth, but this became a vision where this is going to be RocketIT’s home.”
Hyatt said the company does not have as many employees now as he imagined in 1995 that he would have by now — he had imagined 50-plus employees — but he said the lower actual number of workers is because of how technology has changed efficiency in the IT business.
“It’s 20-something employees, but in some ways, the business is far more successful than what I imagined,” Hyatt said. “I thought it would take more employees to get to where we are.”