Amid the pandemic-fueled chaos, many businesses turned to cloud computing to support the massive shift to remote work – with 69 percent of leaders reporting that cloud capabilities helped in their recovery from the pandemic. While cloud solutions came with countless benefits, businesses also dealt with many management challenges due to their expedited approach. Now, just as businesses regain their footing from COVID-19 repercussions, another storm is on the horizon: a recession.  

Today, nearly half (49 percent) of businesses struggle to control cloud spend, which raises red flags as we enter an economic downturn. In 2023 planning, it is essential for every leader to have “cloud spend management” at the top of their agenda to stay afloat amid the unsettling volatility.

While there’s no overnight solution to managing cloud costs, leaders can build a recession-proof cloud strategy by implementing these key steps: 

Prioritizing workload visibility

Today, leaders must have accurate visibility across their entire hybrid IT environment given an estimated 30 percent of cloud spend goes to waste. To mitigate this potential waste, it’s important for leaders to regularly track their cloud spend and dig into any anomalies in real-time, optimizing their IT system performance and making informed decisions to propel success. Given the numerous complexities of tracking cloud spend, businesses should lean on digital infrastructure management tools to provide the insight needed to operate with greater confidence.

In 2023 planning meetings, the C-suite should consider investing in predictive analysis tools to reduce costs and improve efficiency when tracking spend. With these sophisticated capabilities, businesses can accurately forecast future demand and deliver actionable recommendations to prevent expensive performance or operational issues. The real-time insights support businesses’ bottom line by proactively addressing issues, minimizing money spent troubleshooting and giving IT teams the valuable time back to focus on revenue-driving projects. While some leaders may shake their heads at investing in more tools, the output proves to be far more impactful than the initial cost of the service.  

Identifying unused resources

Once leaders have proper visibility of their workloads, it will be easier to identify any unused resources. Too often, provisioned cloud services carry on long after the project terminates, leading to overspending and waste of resources. To ensure this isn’t an ongoing issue, it’s vital to gain an accurate overview of resource utilization and asset ownership.

Investing in cloud backups

In recent years, natural disasters have swept the nation and hackers have swarmed the internet. When the disruption strikes, it puts businesses' data at risk and, in some cases, the company’s future success on the line with 43 percent of businesses forced to close immediately after catastrophic loss of data. With downtime costing roughly $300,000 per hour, it’s vital for organizations to protect cloud data with a flexible, scalable and effective backup solution.  

Backup-as-service (BaaS) allows companies to recover and restore lost data in the event of an unexpected disruption or a disaster. Developing a unique strategy to store, protect, and backup company data is a valued asset and should be a high priority initiative for all IT organizations, given it saves money and protects customer relationships. With a recession on the horizon, the need for a solid data protection strategy continues to intensify. 

Mitigating vendor lock-in

Vendor lock-in robs businesses’ ability to negotiate costs, introduce additional services and adapt to changing expectations. Instead of blindly committing to a single vendor, it’s vital to explore costs and services across providers. From there, leaders can strategically choose the services that best address their unique needs, and then negotiate for discounts and better rates. Integrating multiple clouds allows businesses to better manage usage and cost by only paying for the space and connectivity needed – and it lessens potentially hefty egress charges. 

The new year offers leaders the optimal time to rethink outdated practices that are no longer serving their organization. Going into 2023, it’s vital to take the time to reflect on the past year’s pitfalls and map out an in-depth plan to mitigate similar instances in the future. Times of uncertainty – like a recession – can only be overcome with a sound strategy and fearless leaders to execute on the plan daily. This next year will test businesses’ limits and those who strategize ahead of the storm will be better prepared to face the challenge.