I came across this article this morning. Unfortunately this seems to be the image problem CICS struggles with. We know it is not the technology - more often it is the people that holds on to the technology so tightly that they lose sight of the fact - the existing system that they "paid millions for" is not fulfilling the business need of the user.
More accurately - it is probably serving as job security for the invisible person in the back office until they can reach retirement. Without holding back any more - here is how many CICS users see the systems: (Original link is at: http://professorjulia.livejournal.com/24945.html )
County Is Computer Stupid
Today I had to hustle up and put all my 4th nine weeks' grades online, which made me remember how much I hate putting grades online.
It would be okay if we put them online, as in the Internets. But we don't actually put them online. We put them on our county's Very Special system: CICS, "Customer Information Control System".
This is the workhorse system for our county; everything from daily attendance to grades to student contact information goes there. The school board paid something insane for CICS, way back when dinosaurs roamed the earth - I heard a million dollars or more - and ever since they've had the "pry it from my cold dead fingers" attitude towards it.
Well, okay. It cost a bundle. I can understand. But it's been almost thirty years. We've gotten what we paid for, and now we're all stuck with this lumbering, crash-heavy antique. How old is CICS?
It's so old...
....you can't use a mouse.
....you have to type in numerical commands.
....the background is black and there are only three colors of text: green, blue, and white.
The last time I used a computer with these features, I was playing with my grandfather's mid-80s Apple - a computer that had a floppy drive. Yes: be aghast. My county is still daily using technology from the floppy-drive era. It baffles the older teachers and frustrates the younger ones. It's slow and inefficient and unreasonably blocks access to info.
The good news: we're finally abandoning CICS this summer. I'm sure the new program will be equally headache-y, but at least it'll be manufactured in this millenium.
Sounds like a disgruntled and lazy end user, that knows how to click
on pictures using the internet, learned what CICS stands for, and has
never performed any real heads-down DataEntry.
Can't use a mouse --> BIG DEAL, ever hear of a TAB KEY ?
you have to type in numerical commands
--> poor CICS system design
background is black and there are only 3 colors,
green, blue, and white.
---> guess they couldn't afford color terminals with there million dollar CICS budget
crash heavy ???--> poor programming, and lack of expertise in fixing bugs.