If you’re a restaurant or bar owner who already has a cash register or old POS system, you might not see a pressing need to upgrade to a cloud-based POS system. You might feel your network-based POS system is just as good as a cloud-based one. But there are several reasons why you should upgrade to a cloud-based POS system. It will give you more control and peace of mind and help prevent serious issues down the line. This makes a cloud-based POS system a better option for any small business owner.
No Single Point of Failure
The main and obvious difference between a network-based POS system and a cloud-based one is where the database is stored. In a network-based POS system, one of the POS computers or a server on site holds the database. Then all the other POS stations are directly connected to it. In a cloud-based POS system, the database is stored in the cloud, and all the POS stations are connected to it through the internet.
The downside to a network-based system is that if something were to happen to the POS computer or on-site server holding the database—for example, if the hard drive fails, there is water damage, or it gets knocked off of the counter—then your database is gone and you’re out of business. This is known as a single point of failure. Sure, you may be able to restore from a backup, if you have one, but that will take a bit of time, and you’ll still lose data. On the other hand, with a cloud-based POS system, all the POS stations only connect to the internet and not to each other, so there is no single point of failure. In this case, if something were to happen to any of the POS computers, the others are not affected, so you’re not out of business. Providing a lot of peace of mind.
Instant Updates From the Cloud
Another reason cloud-based POS systems are better than network-based ones is because the update process is more efficient. With network-based systems, updates are done every few weeks or months, and often they cost money. They also need to be performed manually, which will lock down the POS system for some time. Cloud-based POS system updates are done very differently. Since a cloud-based POS system already has all of the POS computers connected to the internet, this makes it easy for them to get updates. With a cloud-based POS system, updates are automatic. Every morning when the system is turned on, it checks for updates and downloads any that are available, ensuring your POS system always operates on the newest version.
Real-Time Reporting Anywhere
One benefit of cloud-based POS systems that is often overlooked is that it allows you to access real-time reporting, anywhere you go. The database is stored in the cloud, which means it can be accessed anywhere in the world as long as you have an internet connection. This isn’t the case with a network-based system, which requires you to be on site to populate and view reports. While there is polling software available that can pull reports from a network-based POS software and put them online, this comes with its own costs and complications. Wouldn’t it just be better if you had access to your reporting anywhere in the world built into your POS software? I think so.
Easy Remote Selling
One last benefit to consider with cloud-based POS systems is its movability. Let’s say there is a festival or pop-up market you want your restaurant or bar to be a part of, but it’s on the other side of the city. With a cloud-based POS system, there is nothing requiring you to operate all of your POS computers in the same building. You can simply take one of your POS computers to the event, connect it to the internet there, and sell your items at the festival like normal. Then plug it back in at your restaurant the next day without affecting your business or the reporting. This simply cannot be done with a network-based POS system.
As you can see, there are several reasons why you should upgrade to a cloud-based POS system. A cloud-based POS system will provide more control, peace of mind, and prevention to a small business owner in ways a network-based system can’t. Total Merchant Supply is a provider of both retail and hospitality cloud-based POS systems in Charlotte, NC. To learn more and to schedule a demo, give us a call today!