Preparing Businesses to Navigate the Chaos of Recessions

In the Recession-Proof Your IT Roadmap webinar, Ken Grohe, Taos’ CRO, guided a conversation with thought leaders from numerous industry perspectives, including HR, real estate, IT, and more. The topic? The rapidly growing likelihood of another major recession hitting the national markets in the next year or two. Multiple speakers noted how they’re already seeing signs of an impending recession due to huge and rapid swings in job markets, housing markets, and economic factors (such as plunging cryptocurrency values).

A big question on everyone’s lips was how could organizations streamline their DevOps and security operations in order to weather the difficult times ahead?

The consistency of chaos

The reality is, difficult times are one thing every business can count on. Most industries have been trying to move out of survival mode following the pandemic, but must recognize that similar struggles will present themselves soon—though not necessarily caused by a global health crisis. Warning signs can involve customer divestment, stakeholder reticence, ongoing supply chain disruption, high employee turnover and similar.

And how are organizations preparing for a future recession? One big factor noted in the webinar is that organizations are not focusing on just getting the right tools or software in place. Instead, there is a shift toward talent hiring and retention. People are trying to prepare their business to survive by investing in the best talent and skill sets—but these are also increasingly hard to come by.

Advice for economic crisis

Grohe asked the participants what advice they might give to peers who are facing—or readying to face—new economic crisis. A main theme was the need to find a balance of efficiency and innovation when it comes to business strategy. An organization must determine what is core to its existence and survival. What are the non-negotiables that keep the business alive, but will also keep it relevant and growing?

Also, an organization should look to where it can reduce costs and free up budget in order to financially invest in new IT initiatives. IT operations remain essential to helping a business run smoothly, no matter what industry the business is in. It was also noted that investing in cloud adoption is one of those sweet spots of efficiency and innovation that almost every organization can benefit from.

Not all jobs are created equal

As almost every industry struggles to hire for key roles and recruit top IT talent, the point isn’t just to fill space or round out a team for the sake of headcount. Instead, the priority must be meeting the core needs of the business and empowering the organization for higher future functionality. To that end, Grohe highlighted the following career paths:

10 most in-demand tech jobs for 2022

    • Data scientist/analyst
    • Project manager
    • DevOps engineer
    • Cybersecurity specialist
    • Cloud engineer
    • Software engineer
    • Product owner/manager
    • Business analyst
    • UX designer
    • Software test engineer

When considering how to hire the right people (or for those looking to make important career choices), organizations should consider both what will be in high demand during a potential recession but also what will be needed post-recession? Don’t just plan on how to work through a marketplace emergency. Look beyond it and position your team for long-term success, not short-term survival.

How can a business respond in the face of high IT scrutiny?

Lastly, the webinar speakers noted that with any economic downturn, there’s going to be unavoidable consolidation and scrutiny on IT teams (i.e., The Great Inspection). In the face of a recession, organizations can react in a wide variety of ways, depending on operational strategy. This can range from halting investments altogether to focusing only on the essentials to evaluating new ROIs and investing in growth.

In order to foster more positive outcomes in lieu this, a team should be able to articulate its value within the organization as well as the results it can deliver to the customer.

The final pieces of advice summarized the need to plan for lean operations, but never at the expense of innovation. Organizations must remain agile and understand their customer value prop, doubling down in communicating what makes their products and software unique. Also, be sure to keep the customers in focus, as they will also be dealing with the same challenges imposed by economic upheaval and will appreciate an organization that can relate more to their struggles.

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