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20 Mar 2020

How to ensure business continuity in a pandemic — GSOM and Gartner held a seminar for partners

On March 19, GSOM SPbU together with the consulting company Gartner held a seminar to ensure business continuity and employee safety in a pandemic. Participants in the online session were representatives of HR and IT departments of the companies — members of GSOM Advisory Board, the administration of St. Petersburg University, as well as faculty and employees of the School.  



SPbU and GSOM were among the first in Russia to decide on the transfer of training to an online format. For the first days of working in this format, we have already managed to solve a large number of technological, methodological and communication issues. We are ready to share experience with educational institutions. And Gartner’s international expertise helps to get acquainted with the best approaches in the corporate environment used in the world in today's pandemic and the need for an emergency transition to the remote work format,” said Olga Dergunova, Deputy President and Chairman of the Management Board of VTB Bank, Director of GSOM SPbU. 


The current epidemiological situation in the world has a significant impact on both the health care system and the work of business in all countries and in all areas of activity. These days, confident and planned actions are expected from managers — the success of the company’s exit from the current situation, the stability of the team and production depend on them. 


It is critically important for managers in the current circumstances: 

  • ensure business continuity; 
  • form a mobilization structure for managing activities in a remote format; 
  • formulate recommendations in the following key areas: IT, HR, finance and internal communications; 
  • develop an action plan to minimize the effects of the pandemic; 
  • provide regular systemic communication with employees. 


“Company managers are required to create conditions in which the business will operate continuously even under quarantine conditions so that employees can receive information on time, be in touch with team members, customers, suppliers and not lose their motivation to work. In the worst case scenario, the company may be faced with the inability to implement key strategic initiatives and projects, insufficient working capital, legal difficulties and reputational risks. Leaders must be prepared for negative scenarios,” Maria Vozhegova, Gartner company partner, said in her speech.