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Why Expedient’s new CEO thinks the cloud services company is poised to weather a recession

Think of cloud services and data centers like utilities, said the Pittsburgh company's new leader, Bryan Smith.

Expedient CEO Bryan Smith. (Courtesy photo)

This editorial article is a part of Navigating a (Possible) Recession Month 2023 in Technical.ly’s editorial calendar.

Update: Expedient's global employee count has been added. (1/12/23, 6:50 p.m.)
For some people, a new year means a new gym membership or a new bullet journal. For Bryan Smith, it meant a weighty update to his LinkedIn.

Smith has spent over 20 years at Expedient, occupying positions ranging from sales executive to chief strategy officer. Now, after a four-month-long selection process, Smith began 2023 by becoming the full-stack cloud service provider’s CEO. The North Shore-headquartered company has around 160 employees in Pittsburgh of 400 total around the world and maintains data centers in multiple US cities, including Pittsburgh, Phoenix and Denver.

Technical.ly reached out to Smith to learn about his plans for the company, as well as his thoughts on how Expedient might withstand a recession, per our editorial calendar theme for this month. Smith told us he’s excited for 2023, and feels that Expedient fills an invaluable need as a cloud service provider that puts the company in a position to be able to withstand a potential economic downturn. To learn more about why, check out his responses below.

What are your plans for the company in 2023?

The first chapter of cloud computing, from 2008 to 2022, was focused on companies moving to hyperscale cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. This shift allowed businesses to take advantage of the scalability, reliability, and cost-effectiveness of the cloud. However, as more companies migrated to the cloud, the complexity of managing multiple cloud environments also increased exponentially.

We have now entered chapter two of cloud computing, where the focus is on putting the right workload on the right platform and simplifying operations. This means that instead of blindly moving all workloads to the “cloud” (more specifically hyperscale cloud), businesses are carefully considering which workloads are best suited for the cloud and which should remain on-premises. They are also looking for ways to simplify the management of their cloud environments. It’s a shift from monoculture to dynamism.

As a full-stack cloud service provider, Expedient is well positioned to benefit from this shift and deliver unprecedented value to clients and partners. Our Enterprise Cloud solutions allow businesses to take advantage of the scalability and reliability of cloud, while also providing the flexibility to run workloads on-premises or in a hybrid environment.

Our Expedient CTRL suite further simplifies cloud operations by standardizing security, observability, and automation across multiple clouds. This allows businesses to easily manage and secure their cloud environments, while also gaining visibility into their cloud resources.

We are excited for the opportunities that 2023 will bring as more businesses adopt a “Cloud Different” approach that accelerates their cloud transformation. By carefully considering their workloads and simplifying their cloud operations, businesses can truly leverage the power of the cloud to drive efficiency of operations and differentiation of their business.

How does Expedient plan on navigating a possible recession?

During a potential recession, a cloud service provider can be a valuable resource for companies looking to access specific technical skills without incurring the costs of hiring and training internal staff. This can help companies preserve their capital, as they can purchase a service that elastically scales with the demands of their business rather than committing to a full-time employee.

Not only does this allow companies to access specialized technical expertise, it also allows them to offload technical tasks that are necessary for keeping their operations running smoothly. This frees up their internal team to focus on more strategic and value-adding tasks that can drive growth and improve the overall health of the business.

Because companies’ need for computing resources are similar to their need for electricity, we are somewhat like a utility, and cloud service providers like Expedient have the ability to thrive during both growth economies and times of recession. While the role we play might be somewhat different in each scenario, we are able to provide a stable and reliable service to our clients regardless of the economic climate.

In times of economic uncertainty, companies may be more hesitant to invest in their own new technologies or infrastructure. By partnering with a cloud service provider, they can take advantage of the latest technology and services without making a large upfront investment. This allows them to remain competitive and adapt to changing market conditions without overextending their resources.

Overall, a cloud service provider can be a valuable resource for companies looking to access specialized technical skills, preserve their capital, and focus their internal teams on strategic tasks during a potential recession.

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What do you think? Should cloud provider services be considered a utility? What are other types of companies that you think fare well in times of economic downturn? Do you have any questions about navigating a possible recession, or any experiences from particularly rocky years to share with other business leaders? As always, we want to know what you think: pittsburgh@technical.ly

Atiya Irvin-Mitchell is a 2022-2023 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supportedby the Heinz Endowments.
Series: Navigating a (Possible) Recession Month 2023
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