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Essay: Using Information Technology to gain a competitive edge: A case study of AFCOM SL

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  • Published: 1 February 2018*
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  • Words: 1,000 (approx)
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An investigation on how Afcom SL uses information technology   


   Information Technology (IT) refers to anything related to computing technology, such as networking, hardware, software, the Internet, or the people that work with these technologies.  Companies now use IT departments for managing their computers, networks, and other mechanical areas of business.  

   According to the CEO/founder of AFCOM SL Limited, Mr Adel Sulim He has overseen the rapid growth and expansion of the company over the years and has placed the company as the leading Internet Service Provider (ISP)’. Afcom was founded to meet the different communications needs of businesses in Sierra Leone. Everything we do is protected by this mission. We recognize that earning the admiration of our customers takes more than simply delivering a product or service, it requires delivering a superior experience. That's why we focus on ways we can improve our customers services, so that they will have the best experience.


  How does the company use computers? AFCOM SL in one way uses Information Technology to gain a competitive advantage over its competitors. Its computers are used for emailing, accounting, customer data base, word processing programs, but also have other professional software packages that they use to increase productivity, attract new customers, reduce costs and save the client’s time.   Afcom being an ISP also uses computers for monitoring bandwidth, incidences from different communication towers, marketing and advertising, research to help improve  (their) business and  to communicate effectively with customer Afcom  uses applications such as Outlook to manage business mails, track events and help their employees schedule meetings.

‘ How many does it have? Afcom’s head quarter has five floors with thirty computers- both laptops and desktops, with five additional super computers?  mainframes used for managing the network.  .

‘ Who uses them?  AFCOM SL has six departments which use computers and these are as follows: Marketing and Sales, Operation and Purchasing, Information technology, production, Human Resource and Finance. Each of these departments is allocated with a set of computers and software packages to enhance their work productivity.

How does the company use mobile phones?   At AFCOM SL cell phones allows staff to be flexible when dealing with customers. It allows them to communicate   on the go while dealing with customer’s queries and other business matters. If they are not in the office, clients can still communicate, or setting up meetings becomes easier because they are not tied to a computer or desk. Afcon can even conduct a teleconference via cell phone while they are traveling. Cell phones increase the ability to multitask.

How useful is IT to the company?  Afcom information technology (IT) is very useful in many ways as listed below;

 Storing and Protecting: Information technology creates electronic storage systems to protect Afcom SL data. A secure maintenance of customer and company data is vital to business integrity. Storage systems, such as virtual vaults, keep data safe by only permitting certain workers within the company to have the right to use, withdraw, add or change information.

Automated Processes For business people look for ways to do more work in the shortest possible time. sulimnman explains that information technology increases their company's efficiency by developing computerised processes to take burden off the staff. In turn, their employees are free to work on other things while the computer runs their reports, creates, queries, tracks projects and monitors financials.

Work remotely:  IT systems give Afcom SL members remote access to their company’s electronic network, so that they can work from home or on the road. This accessibility allows them to increase their productivity because they can still get work done, even when they are not physically in the office.

Communication:  Is essential to the business world, and information technology gives the company the properties it needs to communicate fast and successfully. Afcom SL IT department can hook their employees up with email, video conferencing equipment and internal chat rooms, so that they always have a well-organized way to conduct business and communicate.

What happens when something goes wrong with its IT?

Imagine the worst case scenario of Afcom network going down, which in the past years of operating in the IT industry has never occurred. The impact this would have on our repetition as one of the leading ISP in Sierra Leone and the chaos in businesses (putting in vital information at risk) would be tremendous. That is why we employ the best and also train our staff for unexpected   encounters such as hacking of every sort. For example, the impact of its system going down in a bank can result in long lines of customers’ queries and queues and sometimes loss of data. On the other hand, the impact of an IT system going down at Afcom can result in several businesses’ networks will go down including banks and other major entities which may cause greater damage.

Who is in charge of the IT budget?   At Afcom SL the IT budgets are usually presented and overseen by IT leaders, managers to consultants could have a hand in preparing the budget, but the ultimate decision is based on the managing directors and the purpose of the budget.

How decisions are made:   Decisions are made by a well-developed board of directors and presented budget should be the numeric manifestation of the IT strategy that's well communicated and understood by the peers. When done right, budgets should merely affirm what's already been understood and should get approved with minimal pushback.

Does the company have a website or other online presence?  Yes Afcom SL has a website. You can check it on this link http://www.afcom.sl/about-us-basic.html

How is organized?   Having a great idea is not enough to build a great company, says Mr Adel Suliman, CEO of Afcon. It really takes teams of talented people, organized in ways that truly let them shine.

 Figure out which team-members should be involved in the brainstorming process based on the problem they are trying to solve.

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