My previous company grew considerably during the 2008 recession, because my competitors pulled back and pinched pennies while we viewed it as a growth opportunity to do what they weren't doing. The economy may have been in turmoil, but we experienced our best years ever and were poised to continue that success as our customers increased spending when things normalized.
There's a lesson in that for IT departments: your job is to help the company get things done. You can do better if you're positioned to do more things with less and can deliver productivity gains, security, and overall awesome infrastructure if/when spending becomes more conservative. I posted about how much easier (and cost effective) it was to set up RADIUS services in cloud versus Windows NPS. That's just one example of how IT consolidation into the cloud produces a halo effect around all that you do.
I remember telling one of my IT managers "you're better than email" to dispel objections when we were migrating from Exchange to cloud services. Well, you dear reader, are better than managing servers. The "how" matters less than what's possible. IT drives business success and your team should be functioning less as a cost center and more as a factor that drives business enablement.