Customer Information Control System

Definition of Customer Information Control System

Customer Information Control System (CICS) is a transaction processing software developed by IBM, designed to handle high-volume online transactions in mainframe computing environments. It enables efficient and secure data management and dynamic application usage by concurrently processing user requests. As a critical component in mainframe systems, CICS facilitates rapid and seamless data processing for industries such as banking, insurance, and retail services.



Key Takeaways

  1. Customer Information Control System (CICS) is a family of mixed language application servers that provide online transaction management and connectivity for applications on IBM mainframe systems.
  2. CICS primarily enables the development, deployment, and management of critical applications, allowing businesses to quickly adapt to changing market demands and efficiently manage transactions in a secure and scalable manner.
  3. Some key features of CICS include support for modern programming languages, extensive API capabilities, external integration options, resource and workload management, and a strong emphasis on security and performance.

Importance of Customer Information Control System

The term Customer Information Control System (CICS) is important because it refers to a powerful, transaction processing system designed for both online and batch activity.

Developed by IBM, CICS has become an essential element for businesses that rely on mission-critical applications to manage large volumes of customer and transactional data, especially in the finance and banking sectors.

Its efficient design enables quick application response times and high transaction throughput, resulting in improved user experiences, streamlined operations, and increased revenue.

Moreover, CICS’s robust features, such as multi-tasking, data security, and recovery mechanisms, provide a stable and secure environment for handling important customer and business data within mainframe systems.


Customer Information Control System, commonly known as CICS, is a powerful middleware designed for transaction processing in enterprise applications. As an integral part of modern mainframe systems, its primary purpose is to provide a robust and efficient environment for online transaction management and connectivity. Developed by IBM, CICS facilitates seamless interactions between diverse applications, databases, and end-users by providing a multitude of critical services, such as data manipulation, security, communication, and task management.

This, in turn, allows organizations to develop, manage, and execute large-scale, mission-critical applications with minimal risk and latency, empowering them to deliver exceptional customer experiences across various industries like banking, insurance, and retail. To further understand its significance, it’s essential to delve into the work process of CICS. In a typical transaction-based system, end-users send requests through various input devices, such as ATMs, web applications, or mobile devices.

These requests, or transactions, are then further processed by backend applications, which in turn communicate with databases to access and manipulate the required data. CICS plays a pivotal role in managing the execution of these transactions in a highly scalable, secure, and responsive manner. As a result, end-users can receive accurate and timely responses to their requests, further streamlining business operations and enhancing customer satisfaction.

By employing CICS as a part of its technology stack, an organization can effectively address the evolving demands of a digital-first world and stay ahead of the competition.

Examples of Customer Information Control System

The Customer Information Control System (CICS) is a family of mainframe computer software products by IBM that provides online transaction management and connectivity for applications. Here are three real-world examples of businesses that use CICS technology:

Banking Institutions: Many banks use CICS to manage their customer accounts, loan processing, and financial transactions. CICS allows them to fetch customer information, process transactions, and update account balances in real-time. For example, when a customer uses an ATM to withdraw money from their account, CICS processes the transaction and updates the account balance immediately.

Insurance Companies: Insurance companies often employ CICS to manage their policyholder data, process claims, and perform other insurance operations. For example, when an insurance agent submits a customer’s claim, CICS processes the claim, verifies the policy details, calculates the settlement amount, and sends the customer a notification of the decision made on their claim.

Retail Industry: Large retail enterprises use CICS to manage their inventory, product pricing, and customer information. In addition, CICS is useful for processing Point of Sale (POS) transactions. For instance, when a customer checks out at a retail store, the POS machine interacts with CICS to fetch product information, calculate the total amount, and update inventory levels accordingly.These examples illustrate the vital role CICS plays in ensuring efficient and reliable transaction processing for various industries.

Customer Information Control System FAQ

What is the Customer Information Control System (CICS)?

The Customer Information Control System, or CICS, is a transaction processing system developed by IBM. It is widely used in large enterprises to manage high volume, data-intensive applications. CICS provides efficient and reliable handling of large numbers of transactions, allowing multiple users to access and update information in real-time.

What are some of the main features of CICS?

Some of the main features of CICS include transaction management, data management, resource management, and scalability. These features help ensure that CICS applications are reliable, efficient, and capable of handling heavy workloads.

What are the benefits of using CICS?

There are several benefits to using CICS, such as improved application performance, support for multiple programming languages, efficient use of system resources, and integration with other technologies. CICS also offers built-in security features and the ability to handle large numbers of simultaneous users, making it ideal for use in large enterprise environments.

What types of applications can be developed using CICS?

CICS can be used to develop a wide variety of applications, including financial services, banking, retail, insurance, healthcare, and telecommunications applications. The versatility of CICS makes it suitable for any application that requires high-performance transaction processing, real-time data access, and the ability to handle high volumes of users.

What programming languages are supported by CICS?

CICS supports multiple programming languages, including COBOL, Java, C, C++, and PL/I. This allows developers to use the programming language they are most familiar with when creating CICS applications and enables organizations to leverage their existing skill sets and resources.

Related Technology Terms

  • Transaction Processing System
  • IBM Mainframe
  • COBOL Programming Language
  • Application Development
  • Enterprise Software

Sources for More Information


About The Authors

The DevX Technology Glossary is reviewed by technology experts and writers from our community. Terms and definitions continue to go under updates to stay relevant and up-to-date. These experts help us maintain the almost 10,000+ technology terms on DevX. Our reviewers have a strong technical background in software development, engineering, and startup businesses. They are experts with real-world experience working in the tech industry and academia.

See our full expert review panel.

These experts include:


About Our Editorial Process

At DevX, we’re dedicated to tech entrepreneurship. Our team closely follows industry shifts, new products, AI breakthroughs, technology trends, and funding announcements. Articles undergo thorough editing to ensure accuracy and clarity, reflecting DevX’s style and supporting entrepreneurs in the tech sphere.

See our full editorial policy.

More Technology Terms

Technology Glossary

Table of Contents