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Thirty years ago, the root cause of unplanned downtime in IT processes was human error.Even today, around 60% of respondents to an ITIC survey believe that human error is the leading cause of unprecedented downtime.

While businesses and processes across the globe have transformed drastically over the years, the IT industry has not kept its pace.

With the wide use of IBMi and AS400 systems, the notion of outdated legacy systems has not yet hit the minds of IT professionals.

But, why?

You may argue that human error encompasses several things, yet the critical business aspects should not be included.

To truly understand this, we must look closely at how IT processes used to run 30 years ago. This will help us understand how and why legacy systems are still responsible for downtime in the current day.

For an average developer, such a code may be a head-scratcher. He may have to grasp the context of the code before cracking its meaning.

Yet, this method is not free of challenges. Hiring a clever coder may pose the following dangers:

  • The talent may not be up to mark.
  • The testing process may falter.

You cannot wholly rely on clever coders. The biggest issue is that they are here one day and go on the other.

The developer who devised your code may have changed their positions, left the company, or retired. While such coding may have benefitted you before, the IT team cannot devote time to coding for application dependencies without prompting unresponsiveness in another place.

Not just that, they can also not take the risk of changing the older code. Since only one coder understands the whole thing, this option is not very practical in the long run and may lead to more complexities.

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For many business managers, the simplest and easiest way to ensure success may be to stick to the tried-and-tested methods of doing things, including strategic planning to day-to-day activities. This approach requires minimal effort and allows them to stay firmly in their comfort zone – as well as within budget. 

The radical changes in the organizations created by the software modernization program often result in fear, uncertainty, and suspicion. And, this can be counterproductive, as people can resist taking risks and spend time, money, and resources preferring to continue with traditional practices.

This also happens because people have so many doubts about application modernization. In this blog, we have answered all such doubts. And, if you need to partner for application modernization, we would be happy to help you. Let’s get started.

Application Modernization

In our previous blogs, we have written about the meaning of application modernization.

In the demand side of the business landscape, pressure is continually mounting to meet the continuously changing market needs. And, on the supply side, digital transformation requires attention to technical debt issues, outdated technology, and unsupported platforms while minimizing time, cost, and risk.


Application modernization. Update old applications and fit them in a flexible and scalable environment. Depending on the different business needs, organizations may change their applications to focus on rehosting, refactoring, or innovation.

Although application modernization has compelling business values fears of handling complex legacy applications or dependence on the cloud, budget problems, the need to balance stability and performance, and resistance to new technologies create obstacles for organizations and inadvertently hinder their growth.

This resistance can reduce the potential success of your modernization project by increasing the time and cost of implementing and adopting new systems. An essential part of reducing this is learning a framework for specific arguments and responses against modernization that will increase the value of change in the situation.

Also, it is essential to find the right partner who can guide you through the comprehensive application update process, provide you with the right tools and techniques, create an effective roadmap, and help you plan, build, deploy, and improve your mission-critical applications.

Before finding a reliable partner, let’s look at some myths the organizations have about application modernization. Here are some common misconceptions about modernizing your app and why changing might be the safest option for you:

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Is it challenging for your company to please customers with the existing software that cannot be customized further as per changing trends?

Or is your current software development company costing you diamonds but delivering gold-plated products?

It can be infuriating and disappointing not to achieve the desired outcomes while paying a huge price. But you should not be worried about it. There are companies available for custom software development in Chicago that can design unique software solutions, considering your requirements.

With custom software solutions, you can:

  • Personalize your software according to your business needs and requirements.
  • Have the flexibility to add new robust features whenever the industry demands.
  • Ensure top-level security to protect your company’s and your customer’s data.
  • Get support and maintenance even post-deployment of the software to ensure its smooth functioning.
  • Be the sole owner of your software and don’t pay hefty licensing fees.
  • Choose the functionalities you want in your software and pay only for them, unlike off-the-shelf software.

Here’s a carefully curated list of 12 custom software development companies in Chicago, Illinois. This list will help you choose the one that will fit your needs.

List of 12 Custom Software Development Chicago Companies

1. Integrative Systems

Integrative Systems, founded in 2001, is one of the leading custom software development companies headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. They have clientele from all over Canada and the United States.

They have over 175 talented professionals and more than 20 decades of industry experience and expertise to make your project a success. Their services include website development, custom software development, enterprise software development, .Net development, and IT services and consulting.

Integrative Systems has executed over 1150 projects for clients all over the world in the last two decades. Integrative Systems is an IBM business partner and has been included in the prestigious list of INC5000 as one of the fastest-growing American firms.

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When we talk about programming languages, COBOL, invented in 1959, still holds its ground to date. But some opine that it is dead.

But if you think about it, why would people still be using COBOL if it was dead? This fact alone negates the idea of COBOL being a thing of the past.

In life, a few things, like wine, get better as they age. But can we say the same for technology? We are constantly on the lookout for the latest gadget that Sitting at the heart of enterprise computing, COBOL teaches all the new technologies. It is easy to use and works well.

But there is another challenge lurking in the background—the challenge of finding COBOL programmers. Yet, IBM is working to modernize COBOL and may mitigate this challenge for good. Let us find out how.

What is COBOL?

Before dissecting the opportunities, challenges, and much more about COBOL programmers, let us first understand what COBOL is.

Over 62 years old, COBOL is short for Common Business-Oriented Language. It’s an enterprise-level programming language. Despite being old, it is still used in various business and financial applications.

Unlike most other programming languages, COBOL is considered easy to understand because it uses familiar words.

Before COBOL came into existence, organizations used their own programming language. This was a hefty task that involved working with various computer brands. And, since COBOL has launched, it is greatly used because of its portability and ease of use.

The primary linkage of COBOL is with mainframes. If you talk to COBOL developers, they will tell you that learning the language is not as difficult as understanding the ecosystem in which the language is used.

To understand COBOL better, you need to know the features of the language:

  • COBOL is very easy to learn. It is a standard language that can be compiled on a wide range of computers. It also supports a vast vocabulary.
  • COBOL is still used in more than 70% of transactions globally. It is used in both simple and complex transactions because it has advanced file handling capabilities.
  • Since COBOL has been around for far too long, it has adapted to years of business transformations. It comprises debugging and testing tools for most computer platforms.
  • COBOL is one of the most reliable, easily scalable, and portable languages out there.

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Implementing or improving your BPCS ERP solution can help your organization to:
  • Minimize operational cost
  • Boost productivity
  • Provide features to automate tasks and save energy and time

But having a dedicated BPCS ERP system, which is also one of the most popular ERP systems integrated into your business operations, requires an extensive amount of investment.

The licensing, training, implementation, and maintenance can raise the total cost of ownership of an ERP system. So, does that mean you should not include powerful BPCS ERP solutions in your business workflow?

Of course not. Why would you want to remove a business asset that provides multiple benefits to your business right?

So, how can you measure if your ERP system is valuable to your business? How can you calculate the ROI of the ERP?

Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.

We’ll discuss the simple steps and factors you need to follow to calculate the ROI of your ERP system.

So, without further ado, let’s get started.

Steps Involved in Calculating ERP ROI

The ROI can be calculated by comparing the implementation cost of the ERP solution to the benefits of implementing an ERP over a specific time.

The larger the quotient of anticipated returns of ERP divided by the ERP cost, the better it is for your business. You’ll have a better view of the productivity of your business and can take long and short-term decisions based on the calculation.

You need to calculate two factors to get your desired ROI result:

  • ERP returns
  • ERP cost

So, you’ll be able to calculate the ERP ROI in three simple steps.

  • Calculate the ERP returns by estimating all the benefits your organization will get directly or indirectly.
  • Calculate the ERP cost by underlining major and minor factors like hardware, maintenance, integration, and consultation costs.
  • The last step is to divide ERP returns by ERP costs to get the desired ROI results.

The simple these steps sound, the reality can be completely different from calculating the ROI of an ERP system; you need to bypass multiple misconceptions and challenges.

To help you with this aspect, look at a few things you need to keep in mind before starting the ROI calculation process.

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As companies grow, so do their software needs. While it’s a good idea to buy the off-the-shelf software products you need initially, but as your business grows, you’ll be buying more and more software solutions. For example, you can choose one general application for your accounting and then another for your inventory. Time goes by, and you need an app to manage your sales and marketing, followed by a great customer service. Here, the good thing is that your business is growing, and the bad thing is that your business has outperformed your software.

Since each software solution operates independently, employees often waste valuable time entering the same or related data into different systems as they jump from one system to another. What used to be cheap at the beginning of your business, seems expensive now as your employees spend most of their time in maintaining multiple systems. In such scenario, it would be best to re-think about which approach, and strategy should be implemented. But in our opinion, you should go with system integration as this is the best approach that will help in minimizing the operational costs required for your company’s growth and prosperity.

If you don’t know about system integration, you need not to worry as going forward we’re going to discuss all these things. Let’s get started.

What is System Integration?

System integration combine different systems and applications to work as a coordinated system. Application integration involves collecting data from a variety of applications into one central, unified hub for users. It is a complex process that requires a deep understanding of your industry and in-depth knowledge of various technologies. System Integration enables ERP, which will help you provide more valuable data for more effective decision-making.

Why does your Business Need Integration?

Your software has become complex because of inefficient processes and readymade features that can’t be altered. If your employees want to enter the same information into different systems, you are wasting valuable resources that can be used to serve your customers better. By creating an interface that integrates the multiple systems of your company, you can automate business processes, improve information flow, and data usage.

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Have you heard of the latest security features of IBMi RCAC? 

Every data resource is susceptible to theft or tampering in today’s hacker-infested world. Data protection can be expensive but being hacked is even more so.

This is where the AS400 iSeries Row and Column Access Control (RCAC) comes in!

IBMi RCAC is essential because several companies are looking for effective solutions to regulate security, specifically database security.

IBMi RCAC enables database security managers to restrict who can access information in the database. Even better is that most of these security features can be enabled without requiring any changes to the software applications themselves.

In this blog, you will learn why it is necessary to use IBMi RCAC and the several benefits it offers.

Why Use Row and Column Access Control?

Data must be protected in every business firm, and only users authorized to access that data should be able to access it. Based on the employment position, several information segments should not be accessible.

Of course, one could apply SQL Views to a database, but this needlessly complicates and notifies users that there may be information that is not available. It also increases the difficulty of maintaining the database.

Application logic could be employed, but it has a host of problems. However, a person might walk inside the tables and see all restricted data with either views or access permissions.

This is not a good situation!

Consequently, for ease of usage and implementation, we require Row and Column Access Control.

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You can call a plumber when you need to repair your sink. When your car needs tuning, you visit a mechanic. Similarly, when your technology needs an upgrade, you should invest in IT consulting.

Just as you can rely on the skills of a plumber or a mechanic, you can rely on companies that offer IT consulting services.

What is IT Consulting?

Information technology consulting is the process of advising companies on how to enhance their technology infrastructure to achieve their business objectives efficiently and successfully. Any IT problem or service such as business continuity, risk assessment, disaster recovery, cyber security, and compliance can be consulted.

If your business need a digital transformation, may be its time for you to take the help of an IT consultant.

What do IT consulting companies do?

IT consultants can answer all your (big and small) questions. Will the mobile app work well for your employees? Should you use cloud-based technology or buy a server? Should you outsource your technical support? When should an IT consultant be hired to do the work rather than hiring internal staff?

From initial design to management, IT consultants can help you make decisions based on your business interests. They are a bridge between you and technology, suggesting options, setting costs, planning implementation, and documenting progress.

Whether you want to make your operations more efficient, build a completely new system, take advantage of your existing technology infrastructure, want to secure data, go to the cloud, or whatever, the best thing is to connect with an IT consulting services provider company like Integrative Systems. They provide IT policy and technology consulting services in several areas, including:

Business Continuity

Did you know that less than 40% of businesses in the United States have been open for more than ten years? Creating an effective and successful business strategy is challenging. When developing new software or making changes to your existing technology solutions, it’s important to think about what’s best for your business in the long run.

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Report Program Generator (or RPG) is a high-end programming language used by businesses to develop commercial applications and have many more uses. This is IBM’s proprietary programming language, and most versions of it can only be accessed on IBMi or OS/400-based systems. 

Even today, RPG is a prevalent programming language on the IBM AS400 iSeries operating system. RPG IV (also known as ILE RPG) is the latest version of RPG and is a tool that provides a competent programming environment for IBM AS400 RPG programmers.

AS400 RPG Programmer

IBM iSeries programmers (or AS400 RPG programmers) are specially trained professionals to use RPG programming language and solve problems. AS400 application development companies typically hire RPG programmers to create code that can be integrated into business processes to ensure a high level of performance.

A RPG programmer can perform a variety of tasks, from creating new code to ensuring proper maintenance of existing software code (although existing code may look slightly different inversions of RPG code). If you are considering hiring an RPG programmer, connect with Integrative Systems. As the RPG developers from Integrative can help you with:

  • Analyze, design, develop and maintain IBM AS400 iSeries written in various languages, including RPG, RPG ILE, RPG-free, and SQL.
  • Create technical documentation and develop pseudo code.
  • Either create new RPG codes or augment existing ones.
  • It can also troubleshoot your business process to diagnose the problems.
  • Debug any existing software to identify and fix the problem
  • Apply new code to existing programs and fix bugs.

RPG Development Tools

Nitro AutoCode 

Nitro AutoCode automatically generates client and server-side source code, which you can run directly without modification or further customization and optimization.

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Are you looking to outsource your custom application development? Are you looking for the best custom software development solutions for your enterprise?


But do you know the actual cost to develop software that can fulfill your company’s requirements?

Many professional and dedicated companies worldwide are looking for custom software application development to match up the competitive business landscape of the 21st century.

Having custom-built software can help to boost productivity and efficiency, inject innovation in the existing business operations, and launch the latest and advanced business units.

But if you don’t have a dedicated IT professional team that can develop top-notch software solutions within your company, then outsourcing your development requirement is the most idealistic decision you can take.

But there are thousands of developers and agencies out there that you need to shortlist based on their experience, terms, and pricing.

So, now the question is – Should you hire a freelancer or look for one of the best custom software development companies?

How much will it cost to develop your software?

Can it fit in your budget?

There is a sea of options available for you to choose from for your custom software application development but to tailor it to one, let’s go through all the broad options you have.

So, without further ado, let’s get started.

Different Types of Custom Software Application Development Service Providers

If you want to know the correct cost to develop software based on your company requirements, you need to explore all the possible options you have.

You’ll get different pricing and project terms options from different developers and agencies in a service niche.

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