“The cloud” sure has been a tech buzzword the past 5-10 years, but savvy business owners know that “the cloud” is not just a marketing ploy providers use to win clients, it’s an essential facet to any 21st century business model. And worthwhile providers will make sure clients understand just why and how operating in the cloud can benefit and improve their business.
What is Cloud POS?
Traditional point of sale systems, often referred to as “legacy systems”and “on-premise” POS store data and conduct business on local servers, running on a closed, internal network.
For example, a restaurant running on a legacy system would have terminals at server stations and host stands that are connected and wired up to a server on site that is responsible for storing and transmitting data. A cloud-based point of sale system (also referred to as a web-based system or software as a service, SaaS) is web-hosted and stores and transmits data on remote servers at large data centers AKA storage in the cloud.
To give you a real world example, a legacy system is like storing all of your work documents on a desktop computer at your home, where they’re only accessible on that one and only device. Whereas using the cloud would be like storing your work documents in Gmail or Google (even Amazon) and having those documents accessible from anywhere and any device (with the use of a secure password, of course).
Compared to traditional point of sale systems that retailers and restaurants have used for decades, cloud POS offers many benefits that help business owners work smarter.
Curious how the elusive “cloud” is such an asset? Here we’ll explain what it means to have a cloud point of sale solution and how your business can reap the benefits.
Take Your Business Anywhere
With cloud POS, you’ll be able to complete even the most complicated of tasks anytime, anywhere - even when you’re away from your point of sale terminal or away from your store or restaurant altogether. A cloud system means as long as you’re near a device with a basic connection to the internet and therefore your enterprise, you can pull reports, view data and even make a sale. Forget being tethered to a local machine, cloud POS means more mobility and more flexibility for your business.
Ease Your Mind with Increased Data Security
Owners and managers of both retail and restaurant businesses can rest easy with cloud point of sale solutions, knowing that important business and customer information is safe and secure. In the old days, a POS malfunction or power outage could mean a detrimental loss of data, but with the power of the cloud, data is synced and stored electronically. On top of that, cloud point of sale solutions allow for more secure data storage, with encryption and protection from malware and data breaches.
Situations that we’re once a nightmare for restaurant and retail owners are no longer a problem in the cloud. For example, many fear that a WiFi connection can make or break business operations; however, most great cloud point of sale solutions have an offline mode that keeps businesses running even in the event of an outage or loss of connection.
On-the-Go, Centralized Information Management
With access to data in real time, cloud POS enables business owners to be proactive rather than reactive with their day-to-day operations and even their long term goals. Great cloud point of sale software will help sync your data with your marketing initiatives, helping to boost your team’s productivity and even your customers’ experience.
Affordable Point of Sale Solutions
Legacy systems come with tons of clunky hardware and can cost business owners tens of thousands of dollars a year (let alone the cost of start up and maintenance). With cloud POS, costs run much lower, since you are paying for a software license that is web hosted, and maintenance can be conducted remotely. With a cloud solution, you also have the option to scale your resources as needed, only utilizing the features, benefits and space you need and adopting more as your business grows.
Cloud POS Pays for Itself
The advantages of a cloud-based point of sale solution are almost too numerous to cover in one post, but one thing is certain: the good far outweighs the alternative of chugging along with a clunky and expensive legacy system. With all the benefits and features of a flexible cloud POS, the software nearly pays for itself with ease of use, affordability, security and what’s more: your business can seamlessly transition to a cloud POS system with the help of a trusted provider.