Demystifying Digital Transformation

23.02.2024 4 Min Read
Saba Khergiani

Management Consultant, Business Strategy & Digitalization

Demystifying Digital Transformation

What is digital transformation and why is it so important for business today?

In today's fast-paced business environment, “digital transformation” has become more than just a buzzword, but a strategic imperative. Businesses are faced with a stark reality: adapt or be left behind. The rapid and continuous development of technology has fundamentally changed people's lifestyles, work habits, and consumer behavior.

Consequently, to succeed in this dynamic landscape, the digital transformation of a business is a tough proposition, and its thorough understanding and implementation have become critical for sustainable and long-term business success.


Digitalization or digital transformation?

When discussing digital transformation, you will often also hear the word "digitalization", these words are used as synonyms, but they are significantly different from each other.

To better understand the essence of digital transformation, it is necessary to define the difference between digitization, digitalization, and digital transformation.

Digitalization is more than the digital conversion of existing analog data and involves the integration of digital technologies into a specific aspect of business.

An example of digital transformation is the implementation of a telemedicine system in a medical clinic, through which patients can make virtual appointments, maintain an electronic health record, talk with doctors online and receive medical advice securely from home.

At its core, digital transformation is a larger and more complex process than the digitization of data or the digitalization of a specific business operation. It is impossible to successfully implement digital transformation if it is not preceded by the stages of digitization and digitalization.

Often, unsuccessful digital transformation attempts are due to an inconsistent approach where the digital maturity of companies is not properly assessed. But the possibilities are truly endless: with the right vision for the digital era and the adoption of digital capabilities, organizations can transform their business models to improve efficiency and unlock unprecedented growth potential.

Why is digitalization, or better yet, digital transformation, vital for business?

By using digital technologies, businesses can create future potential and gain tangible benefits today, more specifically:

Improving customer experience (CX) - In today's digital age, customers expect consistent, seamless, and personalized experiences from businesses. Digital transformation allows businesses to meet these expectations by automating routine tasks, providing self-service capabilities and real-time (LIVE) support.

Improved operational efficiency and productivity – Optimizing processes through digital transformation improves operational efficiency. Robotic process automation (RPA) and optimization lead to resource savings, lower costs, and overall increased productivity. It also reduces errors, saves time, and frees up valuable resources so employees can focus on more important activities.

Competitive advantage - Digital transformation provides competitive advantage through the use of advanced technology and rich data, allowing businesses to innovate faster, improve efficiency, and gain a competitive advantage in an ever-changing marketplace.

Data-driven decision making - The ability to use and analyze data to make informed decisions is a key benefit of digital transformation. Organizations can gain valuable insights into customer behavior, market trends and internal processes, leading to more accurate and effective decisions.

Adapt to change – The dynamic nature of the business environment requires constant adaptation. Digital transformation fosters a culture of innovation and agility, enabling organizations and their teams to quickly respond to market changes, seize new opportunities, overcome challenges, and stay ahead of industry trends.

Beyond digital challenges

Of course, digital transformation comes with its challenges. Resistance to change, inadequate IT infrastructure and digital literacy, cybersecurity concerns and budgeting issues are just a few of the challenges a business may face. However, with a strong digital strategy, investing in the right solutions and developing a culture of continuous improvement, these challenges can be overcome.

Remember, digital transformation is not a one-time event, but an ongoing process. The future is digital, and the decision about how businesses want to exist in this future lies in the hands of their leaders. However, the time to act is now as the pace of technological development continues to accelerate and the drive to achieve sustainable success matches the pace of development.

Start your digital transformation today and create the future success of

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From the point of view of relationship psychology, our lives are largely determined by the style of our relationships with other people and how we want to see our place in a world that is constantly changing. The answer to these two questions determines to some extent the direction of our lives. There is no simple rational solution here. It is complex and is influenced by our upbringing, experience, childhood and, among other things, genetic factors.

The relationship matrix discussed in the article is based on the concept of the authors of “Humanistic Leadership Psychology” (Michel Paschen, Erich Diemeyer), where relationships are viewed from the point of view of two polarities. Specifically, we seek close relationships with other people and therefore strive for intimacy and involvement in relationships. Or we may want to separate ourselves from others and strive for individuality and autonomy. Thus, relationship-oriented individuals are open, team-oriented, and easily gain the trust of other team members, while autonomy-oriented individuals are individualistic, more competitive, and constantly strive to stand out from others.

Naturally, this orientation is expressed in different doses among individuals and can vary depending on the context. In some situations we may want closeness, and in others we may want separation. However, in individuals a leading orientation is often noticeable. This is especially noticeable during conflicts. If we observe the people around us and their relationship styles, we will undoubtedly discover the direction of a person's inner compass - individuality, difference and competition, or intimacy and inclusion. There are people who are characterized by the extremes of these two poles, so they are not able to distinguish themselves from others or do not know how to establish relationships.

These two orientations have their own fears. Relationship-oriented people fear loneliness and isolation. People are focused on autonomy - the fear of losing individuality and specialness. As strong as this fear is, so strong and visible is the energy that people expend trying to please and be accepted by others. With the fear of the other polarity, energy is spent on being the center of attention and emphasizing one's superiority whenever possible. These behavioral tendencies have a huge impact on our lives, including our leadership style.

To recognize a tendency in yourself, it is enough to ask the following questions: what is more important to me? Close, open, trusting relationships, common interests, equality with others, a sense of belonging, altruism or, more importantly, distinguishing oneself, achieving more, individuality and a life noticeably different from the lives of others.

The behavioral patterns that characterize both trends are presented in more detail below.

Relationship orientation

The main fear is loneliness and isolation.

When this orientation is strong:

Seeks intimacy with others;

Seeks tasks that are meaningful and help others;

He is open and sensitive to other people;

Emotionally attached to others and forgives other people's mistakes;

In relation to others he is inclined to altruism, communicates peacefully and modestly;

Prefers moral and humane behavior;

Suffering when he feels distance and rejection;

Tries to create a harmonious atmosphere in cooperation;

Doesn't criticize others.

Autonomy orientation:

The main fear is a lack of individuality and significance.

When this orientation is strong:

Seeks admiration and recognition in the eyes of others;

Particular importance is attached to unusualness and individuality;

Emphasizes the difference between them and others;

Extremely confident;

Avoids dependence on others;

Emotionally distant from others;

Treats others with criticism and skepticism;

Copes with conflicts without feeling significant personal burden;

In many situations, there is a feeling of competition with others.

The second fundamental question concerns our identity in a changing world. We can answer this question from two polarities. At one end of the continuum is creating a computational, predictive and manageable framework for yourself in a changing world. This pole is called the balance orientation. People with this orientation seek rules, regularity, predictability, and structure. The second polarity of the continuum is stimulation orientation. Such individuals want to fully experience the vicissitudes of the world. They look for novelty and change in everything; they are characterized by adventurism and curiosity.

Like the polarities of relationship orientation, these directions also have their own fears. Balance-oriented people fear uncertainty, spontaneity, and therefore freedom. This fear is addressed by creating an island of rules, control and predictability.

On the other hand, stimulation-oriented people have a fear of conforming to rules and being static. The worst thing that can happen in their life is to miss out on something important or great. Their fear is attachment, limitation and the impossibility of freedom and spontaneity.

If we look closely, we will find people around us who suffer from a lack of regularity in their lives, when unexpected events require them to be flexible, or when things don't go according to plan. Additionally, there are people around us who really worry about committing themselves to something or someone, be it a life partner, a lifestyle choice, or just a commitment. These people suffer when they have the impression that there is a closed door in their life that cannot be opened.

Focus on balance

The main fear is uncertainty and disorientation.

When this orientation is strong:

Striving for order and security;

Performs tasks conscientiously, thoroughly and tirelessly;

Looking for consistency;

Has established habits;

Is careful about risks;

Acts reliably and conscientiously;

Insists on compliance with rules and punishment for deviations from the rules;

Constantly controlling other people.

stimulus orientation

The main fear is obedience to rules and inviolability.

When this orientation is strong:

Avoids commitment and leaves many options open;

Copes with a variety of situations flexibly and spontaneously;

Leave the past behind and try something new;

Takes risks;

He approaches new topics and challenges with imagination and curiosity;

Ends relationships and starts new ones if it offers new experiences and adventures.

All orientations manifest themselves in each of us with different priorities and to varying degrees, and, naturally, this also applies to leadership relationships - leadership relationships, their different motivations and behavior patterns pass through these four orientations. Our dominant characteristics are most clearly felt in conflict. Therefore, it is especially important for leaders to understand the basic orientations and polarities in themselves, which in itself makes it easier to see and accept others, as well as prevent conflicts and manage them effectively.


In the year 2024, businesses are encountering significant transformative changes. Geopolitical instability and climate change have created an immediate demand for businesses to achieve self-sufficiency and foster resilience. Simultaneously, technological advancements, particularly in the realm of artificial intelligence (AI), hold the potential to revolutionize every facet of our lives. Nurturing a business during this crucial juncture necessitates striking a careful balance between upholding sustainability, harnessing digital technology, and maximizing human potential.

The purpose of this article is to assist business managers in effectively managing these challenges and, furthermore, to offer them a guiding vision for successfully navigating and expanding their businesses within this intricate landscape.

Business Sustainability - Challenges and Opportunities

Sustainability becomes a strategic imperative for businesses in 2024. Resistance to change and environmental challenges, increased competitiveness, stable and long-term development are not only business needs but also the basic requirements of consumers and investors.

Below, we discuss important factors that will influence the formation of the business environment in Georgia in 2024 and, accordingly, the sustainability of business. One of the priorities for business managers should be to prepare to respond effectively to these anticipated challenges and opportunities.

Geopolitical Factors

Georgia is located in a complex geopolitical landscape in which regional reorganizations are taking place. In light of the Russian-Ukrainian war, there is growing concern for the stability of our country and the security of our borders. No less of a risk factor is the growing likelihood of conflicts in the Middle East. These factors may have a negative impact on trade, tourism, investment, and commodity prices. Therefore, businesses should be careful about geopolitical risks and develop action plans in emergency (crisis) situations. It should also be noted here that there is a need to tighten cybersecurity measures because security today extends not only beyond physical borders.

We cannot ignore the local political context – in particular, the 2024 parliamentary elections. Elections are always associated with political conflicts and growing uncertainty. This, on the one hand, leads to lower consumer and purchasing sentiment, and on the other hand, to increased investor caution. Consequently, businesses will need to mobilize more resources to communicate with both customers and investors.

Economic Factors

Among economic factors, one of the most important positive factors for our country is obtaining the status of a candidate country for the European Union. Positive expectations for the country's economic growth in 2024 are associated with this event. According to the World Bank[1], the country's economic growth is expected to be 4.8%, and inflation is expected to be within 2.5%. Economic growth and consistently low inflation are important prerequisites for business sustainability.

Georgia's free trade agreements with several countries and ongoing negotiations with other countries regarding access to foreign markets also present significant business opportunities. However, it should be noted that first the pandemic, then the war in Ukraine, conflicts in the Middle East, and the global economic slowdown caused significant disruptions in the supply chain (e.g. delays, funnel effect). This factor may hurt Georgian exports. Accordingly, diversification of export markets, strategic alliances, and the introduction of modern logistics technologies are becoming important strategies for business. Trade regulation is another issue that Georgian businesses should take into account. Navigating the complex web of sanctions against Russia and other potential restrictions poses a significant regulatory risk. Therefore, understanding and complying with the legal framework is critical. Here, we should not forget about EU trade rules, compliance with which will be one of the main challenges in the coming years.

Another important economic risk factor is dependence on Russian energy resources. Accordingly, it becomes important for Georgia to prioritize achieving energy independence through the development of renewable energy sources and deepening regional energy partnerships. Georgia's potential in hydropower and solar energy becomes even more important for energy independence and sustainability. This provides opportunities for private businesses to attract green investments and use green technologies.

Climate change, the environment, and security

Experience has shown that Georgia is vulnerable to the effects of climate change, such as floods and droughts. Accordingly, adaptation to climate change should be one of the country's priorities. On the other hand, businesses must ensure their security and resilience by ensuring climate risks and investing in climate change adaptation.

In 2024, food security and sustainable agriculture will be no less a priority for Georgia. Focusing on sustainable farming practices and local food production is becoming increasingly important, ensuring food security and reducing dependence on imports. From a business perspective, the attractiveness of agriculture and local food production will increase.

Technology and artificial intelligence (AI) at the service of business

Artificial intelligence (AI) is poised to disrupt industries like never before. It provides incredible results in terms of data processing and analysis, optimization, and automation of workflows. From personalized healthcare to smart cities, the possibilities of artificial intelligence are endless. However, as well as opportunities, this also creates the risk of occupational change, workforce movement, and increased inequality among employees. Businesses should, therefore, focus on reskilling and upskilling their workforce to ensure that everyone benefits from the technological leap. It should be noted here that the security of personal information and the ethical use of technology are particularly pressing issues, which require responsibility, transparency, ethical practices, and security measures regarding the use of technology.

The challenges and opportunities for technological development in Georgia in 2024 are as follows:

Integration of artificial intelligence (AI): The use of AI to automate tasks, analyze data, personalize user experiences, and streamline operations will increase. Thus, companies that are the first to embrace the power of AI will gain a competitive advantage.

• Data-driven decision-making: Integrating data analytics into organizational processes will enable businesses to make data-driven decisions at all levels. To take advantage of this opportunity, businesses must invest in developing relevant competencies within the organization. It will also be important to make changes to decision-making processes and systems.

• Cybersecurity: As mentioned above, increasing regional tensions increase the vulnerability of Georgian businesses to cyber-attacks. Investing in cybersecurity measures and increasing employee awareness is becoming critical.

• Cloud technologies: The attractiveness of cloud technologies will increase as they offer businesses scalability, flexibility, and cost-effective solutions.

• Digitalization and e-commerce: Dependence on online platforms and e-commerce is likely to continue to increase. Georgian businesses will have to adapt and invest in digital marketing and online business tools.

• Studying new technologies: The study of blockchain, metaverse, and other new technologies is becoming attractive due to the huge potential they have in terms of industry breakthroughs and new business opportunities. It is expected that we will see more startups in this direction.

• Potential as a technology hub: Georgia's low taxes, technological youth, and strategic location make it a potential IT and creative industry hub. Georgia has the potential to attract technology companies and stimulate innovation in sectors such as cybersecurity, financial technology, and artificial intelligence.

Human potential is the main capital of business

Artificial intelligence is more efficient than humans in analyzing data and performing repetitive tasks. However, it cannot replace the unique human qualities of creativity, empathy, and critical thinking. Overall, as the ability to use technology and artificial intelligence increases, so will the demand for human capital that can effectively interact with and use these technologies. Therefore, in 2024, it becomes important for businesses to develop these qualities and competencies in their employees. Companies that invest in employee well-being and development, encourage teamwork, and instill a culture of continuous learning will gain a competitive advantage. In the era of artificial intelligence, the true competitive advantage of a business will be its ability to adapt, innovate, and solve complex problems.

The main challenges and opportunities for business in Georgia in 2024 in the area of human capital are as follows Flexibility for hybrid and remote work: After the pandemic, many companies tried to return to traditional modes of operation. Some even implemented strict office-only policies. However, practice shows that this requirement is increasingly irrelevant today, and the flexibility of hybrid and remote work has become an important factor in attracting and retaining talent. Employees, especially the younger generation, are not ready to go back to the past and openly or quietly protest against it. Consequently, hybrid work models are expected to become the norm, forcing business leaders to think about new approaches and forms of communication for managing collaboration, engagement, and maintenance.

• Skills and upskilling: Technological developments have changed the education and skills paradigm. Today, education involves constant learning and development, mastering new competencies, and caring about increasing emotional intelligence. Hence, it is important for businesses to focus on creating a development-oriented work culture and invest in employee training and development.

• Prioritize employee well-being: Experience and research have shown that, despite high competence and extensive experience, people's performance suffers significantly when their mental or physical well-being is compromised. Therefore, creating a psychologically safe environment for employees, and prioritizing their physical and mental well-being, will be one of the most important business tasks. Accordingly, investment in training, mental health, personal development, and physical health programs will increase.

• Empathetic and people-oriented leadership: Gone are the days of charismatic, strict, "all-powerful," and "all-knowing" leaders. Today, the competence or ability to make decisions solely in the hands of a few poses the greatest threat to a business, as it loses flexibility and the ability to adapt quickly. Accordingly, maximizing human potential at all levels, providing maximum independence and autonomy to employees within their competence, as well as ensuring effective coordination between employees and teams, have become the main tasks of organizations today. Therefore, today's leaders must prioritize empathy, communication, and building trust with employees. Openness to feedback and developing a culture of teamwork will be key to business growth.2024 is not just an ordinary year - it is a turning point - a year of change. The choices a business makes now – at the intersection of sustainability, technological capabilities, and human potential – will determine its future. For business today, development means a paradigm shift, which forces it to reconsider its business model, development strategy, and leadership concept; becoming more ethical and responsible towards society and the environment, becoming faster, learning more to be able to take advantage of technology, and most importantly, becoming more people-oriented because it is human skills and potential that become increasingly important capital in the modern era. And if a business can cope with these transformative changes, it will not only survive but thrive and make significant positive changes in its environment.

Source: Forbes Georgia

[1] https://www.worldbank.org/en/publication/global-economic-prospects


Believe in yourselves, dream big, and soar high because the truth is, for the potential of both men and women, the sky is the limit!

On November 8, a joint conference of the United Nations Association of Georgia (UNA) and the World Federation of United Nations Associations Partnership for Impact Tbilisi Conference: from Blueprints to Breakthroughs took place.

The conference included a panel discussion "The Role of Partnerships in Advancing Gender Equality", where attention was focused on the multifaceted aspects of gender equality and women's empowerment. Panelists emphasized the need for women's active participation in public life, which leads to more stable societies. Challenging conditioned beliefs about male superiority was encouraged, and opportunities and empowerment were advocated without judgment. The need to support women to break the glass ceiling was acknowledged, and the importance of empowering women in technology was highlighted. Overall, the panel emphasized the importance of collaboration and empowerment as essential tools for advancing gender equality.

Tinatin Rukhadze, the founder of ACT, business leader and management consultant, served as a keynote speaker on the panel. During her speech, titled "From Self-Doubt to Success: Empowering Women”, Tinatin Rukhadze addressed the prevalent challenges and barriers often experienced by women.

We're thrilled to share Tinatin Rukhadze’s inspiring speech, From Self-Doubt to Success: Empowering Women, in its entirety, unaltered and powerful, as she shares her journey and insights!

From Self-Doubt to Success: Empowering Women

Let me share my personal story, one that I hope will inspire you. I was fortunate to be raised by an incredibly strong woman, my grandmother, who played a leading role in our family. From a young age, I never perceived women as weak. This belief became the guiding principle of my life, and it led to remarkable journeys and accomplishments. Yet, to my surprise, one day I discovered that the most significant obstacle to my personal growth and the realization of my potential was tied to my own identity as a woman.

We founded our company, ACT, in 2002, and in the years that followed, we experienced rapid growth. By 2008, we became the largest research company in Georgia, and by 2014, we had expanded to include offices in Baku and Almaty. However, from 2014, our company's growth began to stagnate, and the old formula for success no longer yielded results. As the company's managing partner and visionary leader, I was deeply troubled by this. I continually asked myself, "What are we doing wrong? What changes are needed to reignite our growth?" But the answers remained elusive.

One day, I traveled to our Almaty Office for business. I chose to utilize the four long hours of the flight for a deep introspection. My thoughts were fixated on the same unresolved questions. "Why can't I generate new ideas? Why can't I find a solution?" I kept asking myself. After a series of "whys," my subconscious delivered a shocking response: "because you are a woman." I was taken aback by my own thoughts. How could I, an advocate for the strength and equality of women, harbor such limiting beliefs? I recalled instances where I had been told, "you have the brain of a man," "you think like a man," "you are brave like a man," and I realized that deep down, I had been conditioned to believe in the superiority of men. Despite "thinking like a man," I am not a man. So, I had unwittingly limited my own success, believing that, as a strong woman, I could never achieve as much as a man could.

The discovery and subsequent release of this limiting belief brought about radical changes in both my life and my business. With a new vision, we transformed ACT's business model and developed a consulting division. Today, the company is three times larger than it was in 2014, operating in 34 countries, and we believe there are no limits to our growth.

My journey and interactions with other women entrepreneurs have taught me three important lessons:

First: The most significant barrier to women's development is often their own limiting beliefs, which can be deeply ingrained and go unrecognized. These beliefs are often fostered by family, education, societal norms, and real-life inequalities. Common limiting beliefs include "I'm not good enough," "I don't deserve more success," "I can't do it," "I can't change," "It's not worth it," "I can't trust people," and "No one will help me."

The second major barrier is the fear of failure, the fear of societal condemnation (fear of being labeled as inadequate wives or mothers), and even the fear of success itself (fearing significant changes and societal disapproval for being seen as ambitious careerists).

Lastly, the third barrier is the lack of a supportive environment, be it in the form of people or systems that empower women, provide access to resources, or offer emotional support.

In closing, to empower women, I encourage you:

Don't say no; give us a chance.

Don't test us; share with us.

Don't judge us; empower us.

And, to all women, I would say: believe in yourselves, dream big, and soar high because the truth is, for the potential of both men and women, the sky is the limit!