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Sarah Masotti has worked and traveled across 60 countries — here’s how she channels her own experiences to help customers transform their businesses

Editor’s note: Sarah Masotti is a Digital Transformation Lead at Google Cloud, where she works with customers like Unilever, British Telecom, HSBC, and WPP. She excels at identifying innovation opportunities, and bringing them to life through Google’s products and services, and change management and transformation programmes, all with an innovative mindset.  

What is the coolest thing about your job?

I get to work with world class companies who are experts in their field, and think about how we can take their expertise, and combine it with Google’s to create something new. I help organizations identify their most pressing business challenges, and then figure out how to help solve them, tapping into all products, services, and programmes Google and our partners have to offer. 

I also really enjoy helping customers meet sustainability goals. Data centres alone are responsible for 1% of the world’s energy consumption, and by moving to the cloud, companies can shut down their data centers (and the energy used to power them), saving 60% – 85% in energy costs. And it’s especially cool when we partner with customers to innovate around sustainability. For example, we recently used Google technology to help end deforestation in Unilever’s supply chain, and it was pretty awesome to play a role in that and to see my customer present at COP26.

What’s the biggest challenge, and how do you address it?

Often customer requests go beyond cloud –  ‘what should my organization look like?’ ‘how can I innovate better’ ‘how should we fund initiatives’? The broad range of requests means I need to be really adaptable, and constantly learn and stay humble. I can’t be the expert in all of these things, and we have incredible talent and assets behind these topics, so a big part of my job is knowing when and how to leverage those best. 

What are the most effective things you do to help the transformation?

When you are asking people to change how they work, one of the most effective things you can do is listen. You need to understand and empathize before you can get people excited about a common goal to start to inflict change. Top-down executive sponsorship is essential, but you also want widespread education and local champions who are enthused about the new technology and  more agile ways of doing things, so they can help bring others along. Everybody tends to focus on the ‘new’, but I also like to look at what people will stop doing, such as manual tasks and siloed working. It is important to address those things too, or you will end up with technical debt. 

What in your past do you think helps you in your job?

Learning to work with different people in different cultures has helped me. I’ve worked in 25 countries, and have traveled to 40 more. Right out of university I was fortunate to get a job with PwC, one of Google Cloud’s earliest customers and partners. I had the travel bug from a young age, and raised my hand at PwC to work abroad, and they sent me to help transition 10,000 employees in Central Europe and Asia onto Google Workspace.  I learned how to adapt my message based on the audience, and how to create a network of employees to drive organizational wide change, and product adoption. I enjoyed working with small teams, to first enhance their proficiency so they could then take leadership roles to get others onboard. Pretty soon people were innovating on what they learned, improving how they handled job applicants and organized meetings and client projects. I loved working in new cultures and learning from different perspectives, and Google Cloud continues to enable those experiences for me, my teammates and our customers.

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