With 27 years of service under his belt, Open Systems Technologies (OST) Corporation CEO Tom Truitt is proud that his company has grown from a one-man operation to more than 230 employees.
OST has consistently been recognized and ranked by the Washington Business Journal as one of the fastest growing companies for year-over-year growth (#38 in 2022) and one of the largest cybersecurity companies (#13 in 2022) in the region.
"My wife, Diana, was our second employee," says Truitt. "Diana staffed and managed our first home office, and she was instrumental in relocating our office from Maryland to Virginia early on in our business. After having an office in Tysons Corner and Herndon, we eventually moved to Prince William County."
From those modest beginnings in 1996, OST is now a global corporation with more than $30 million in annual revenue headquartered at 15827 Wayleaf Court in Gainesville. OST has large-scale business enterprise and government clients and provides a variety of technological solutions, including cloud computing and virtualization, identity and access management and host-based intrusion detection and monitoring. They also offer clients monitoring software assets and application performance monitoring solutions.
“When we started the business, it was the start of the open source software movement, where basically everyone has the code to look at. This changed the industry, and we had to combine our brain and willpower to be competitive. Ultimately, open source is better for the consumer.”
They secured Freddie Mac as an early major client. This allowed them to be pioneers in this new technology frontier. They leveraged this contract to grow the business with large-scale clients in the areas of Web Access Management (WAM) and Java infrastructure build-out and application development. Subsequently, they supported Y2K remediation for financial institutions and worked with clients across the globe. After the Y2K crisis passed, they shifted focus to e-commerce, which was in its infancy.
Working with Network Solutions, they developed solutions using Domain Name System (DNS). DNS is a hierarchical and distributed naming system for computers, services, and other resources. It associates various information with domain names assigned to each of the associated entities.
The industry continued to evolve, and OST shifted focus to remain competitive. From 2003 to 2010, they developed enterprise software solutions for Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies. As cybersecurity and cloud computing became necessities in the industry, OST created opportunities for companies to move their information to cloud-based solutions.
More than eighty-five percent of their business is now government contracts. They respond to requests for proposals, identify strengths and weaknesses, and work with partners as needed to get the job done. They also recently purchased a company in Manassas that will allow them to better serve other large-scale business solution services, such as Amazon, SAIC, and Mitre.
"Because we have always worked remotely, we didn’t have to make that many changes when COVID hit," says Truitt. "Instead, we helped our customers make the changes they needed to remain operational with a remote workforce."
Through all these years and changes in the industry, Truitt has relied on a cadre of highly qualified professionals. The OST team remains competitive because their people keep current with all the latest certifications. They proactively seek new training programs to evolve themselves into something better.
"We took the time to put together just the right team," says Truitt. "Above everything else, we look for people who are adaptable, flexible, creative, problem solvers, and listeners. It’s just as important to listen for what is not said, as what is said."
As he looks ahead, he plans for OST to transition from a small to a mid-size business and to continue operating as a global company. Their core team is in Prince William County, but they work with clients in 29 states as well as global clients. He and his cadre have a world-wide focus, and they work with U.S. Embassies all over the world.
"I like OST being part of the solution,” says Truitt. "But I consider success to be two things, and neither of them is money:
- Would the people who worked with you be willing to work with you again
- Would the business partners you worked with be willing to work with you again?
If the answer to those two questions is 'Yes,' then I believe that is success."
Located at 15827 Wayleaf Court, Gainesville, Virginia 20155