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IT-Procurement-Summit 2022 – Interview with Google’s Improvement System Manager

Andrea Kowarschik, Improvement System Manager, Global Procurement, Google

Andrea Kowarschik is Improvement System Manager, Global Procurement at Google, and we.Are thrilled to have her hosting a Challenge Your Peers Session at IT Procurement & Sourcing Europe 2022 and working together with the attendees on the question:

Strategic 3-5 year IT transformation roadmap prioritization – How to balance transformational long-term initiatives with near term & ad-hoc interim solutions being requested?

The event will take place on October 03 – 05 in Berlin and we thought now is the right time for a short pre-event interview with the IT Procurement Expert and asked her a few questions!

1) What were the most important Learnings of your strategic 3–5-year IT transformation roadmap prioritization?

The user experience is very important for us at Google, hence building a collaborative partnership with our Engineering teams, including UX, is key to defining a product strategy that incorporates the business needs while also building a product that is flexible and scalable. To achieve the best user experience and quality of our solutions, we also learned that it is important to design and test smaller product parts early in the process rather than building and launching the full product at once. When defining a product roadmap, our key takeaway is to plan for both the larger business transformation in a multi-year plan and to have teams focus on interim fixes that are building towards that future state. Lastly, we need to have a clear vision of the future state and how we get there, as we need to convince our key stakeholders and leadership across Google repeatedly.

2) What were the biggest challenges and how did you overcome them?

One of our challenges is that we are a very young Procurement organization, which is being built and scaled during Covid and now a looming recession. What helps us, is to have a clear vision, goals, and objectives that are aligned and reprioritized as needed. With such a young organization the RACI across teams can be challenging at times. So having a central PMO function and frequent opportunities to connect as a whole team to align, learn and update each other is helpful. Lastly, we used to have non-standardized data, which made decision-making around data difficult. So, we built a central data function and non-mandate user-centric buying funnel, to establish one source of truth for data.

3) As Improvement System Manager, Global Procurement at Google – what is it that you most love about your Job?

It is a unique opportunity to be part of Google’s journey to transform the way Google does Procurement and to make buying easier. In particular, being on the systems team it is exciting to create Procurement systems & tools that benefit Google’s strategy and provide a seamless user experience. In day-to-day work, I enjoy building partnerships and managing interactions with our engineer and non-engineer stakeholders to make sure we deliver what is needed to be successful.

4) You are participating actively for the first time at the IT Procurement & Sourcing Conference, what are your most important expectations?

I am looking forward to connecting with the broader Procurement Summit community face-to-face for the first time in a while. In particular, I am excited to get feedback from this experienced community and learn some best practices from the presented cases that we can apply at Google.

Check the full agenda, other highlight speakers, and the hottest topics here:

Andrea Kowarschik is hosting a Challenge Your Peers Roundtable Discussion on October 4th at 04:30 PM.

The discussion will be about: Strategic 3-5 year IT transformation roadmap prioritization – How to balance transformational long-term initiatives with near term & ad-hoc interim solutions being requested?

  • Resources: How to manage prioritization of your resources – short term interim solution to build partnership and ensure system integration later on vs. focus on transformational activities and break back down to deprecate interim solutions later
  • Best practices: If you would have to do it again, what would you do differently and what would you continue to do?
  • How do you decide which system to work on first: SRM, Risk, RFP tools?


While agility and speed progressively determine the success of business in the age of digital transformation, new technologies and new licensing and pricing models represent increasing challenges for organizations across all industries. The IT Procurement & Sourcing Summit brings together more than 100 IT sourcing, procurement, finance and vendor management decision makers from leading European companies to discuss effective IT Procurement strategies, exchange experiences on most successful negotiations and vendor relationship tactics and learn how to re-organize processes to enable agility of their organization and achieve better business outcomes.

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