Cloud-based POS system: Yay Or Nay?
Cloud computing has gained a lot of popularity in the past few years. Fairly recently, it has also stepped into the business world, and has incorporated into point of sale (POS) systems – only to be met with mixed views.
Where some people eagerly accepted the new age of putting data on the cloud, there were still others who were sceptical about the reliability of such a system.
So what’s the real deal – is a cloud-based POS system the new tomorrow, or is it something we can’t trust? Before you can make up your mind, you need to know the truth. Let us clear the air once and for all, and discuss the pros and cons of cloud-based POS systems.
It is cost-effective
With typical POS systems, you have to pay a lot more than just the initial software price: there are charges for maintenance, data storage, updates, support and training, and a lot more. Worst part is that most of these charges aren’t refundable, even if the model is not suitable for you.
In regards to this, cloud-based POS systems stand out, because they are a lot more cost-effective: using such a system does not require any licensing, registration or maintenance fees.
It offers data redundancy
Nothing is worse than losing data you have spent ages on. Unfortunately, traditional POS systems always run the risk of losing data or not being able to recover it due to things as mundane as power outage. They lack any serious, simple yet automatic mechanism to backup data.
Thankfully, data stored in the cloud are extremely secure, because of offsite servers that are further protected with 24/7 security, and multiple layers of data redundancy. Using a cloud-based software helps eliminate the risks of theft, accidents, disasters, and even running out of storage space for more data.
It allows real-time reporting
With how optimised business operations are slowly becoming, any entrepreneur would want accurate updates – and that includes reporting.
Although most traditional POS systems do offer reporting, they either lack the ability to give real-time updates, or don’t offer a functionality to access reports for multiple outlets. For large-chain restaurants and retail stores, this spells nothing but trouble.
Cloud-based POS systems, however, do offer real-time reporting, which can encompass as many locations as you want. You can get access to these reports both in store and when you’re out of the office – all it takes is a few taps.
It lets you access data anywhere, anytime
Cloud-based POS systems give you full control of your business operations at all times – even when you’re out of the office. POS systems in Pakistan like Oscar can function on mobile applications, that let you manage your business from anywhere, at any time.
A simpler POS platform can offer that functionality, only if you put in effort of your own: you need to set up a manual VPN, host a local server, and work some more. This makes cloud-based POS systems a lot more faster, and a lot more efficient at streamlining work functions like inventory management, customer relationship management, reporting systems, and much more.
It has its own cost
Despite it having drastically lesser cost as compared to a software-based POS system, it comes with its own price.
Where software-based POS systems have a large one-time fee, cloud-based POS systems have a subscription fee which has its own risks of overcharging you if you don’t do the math properly. If there are any billing errors, it may result in the interruption of your system – something nobody wants.
It puts data at risk
Although cloud-based POS systems keep your data under the secure cloak of layers of data redundancy, keeping it on the cloud means it’s not 100% yours regardless.
The threat of cyber attacks comes with every kind of internet-dependant operation, and this one is no different. Your data can fall under the radar of efficient hackers who want to extract vital data. Where software-based POS systems offer relatively more security by removing data from the internet, it does so at the expense of overall work efficiencies. Plus, traditional POS systems offer a different kind of security problem by not offering automatic data backups.
Training can get time-consuming
When you install a cloud-based POS system, you need to train your employees on how to use it. Not only is that a costly process, but it also can be time-consuming. Furthermore, it runs the risk of dividing your staff into two groups: those who do things the new way, and those who do things the old way. Once this rift becomes too large to cross, it can pose problems.
It may pose technical issues
No matter how great a service provider may be, the internet will always pose some problems, like outages, slow speed, or spotty connections. This not only slows down work functions, but can also create lasting, recurrent problems if the technical issue lasts for hours on end.
In the end, no cloud-based POS solution is the complete answer for every company – but you can pick a system that’s pretty close.
Oscar POS is a POS in Pakistan that has excelled with it’s cloud-based system, offering many interesting management systems like inventory management, CRM system, employee management, accounting system, and much more.
In the end, it’s worth noting that all the cons of cloud-based POS systems are not impossible to solve! By weighing the advantages against the disadvantages, it is up to you to decide where do you want your business to stand. With that, cloud-based POS systems can truly transform your business.