Cloud-based point of sale systems have become synonymous with all things hot and new; while conventional POS systems — a.k.a. legacy POS — is frequently perceived as being unattractive and old. While this may be the situation for some traditional […]
Cloud-based point of sale systems have become synonymous with all things hot and new; while conventional POS systems — a.k.a. legacy POS — is frequently perceived as being unattractive and old. While this may be the situation for some traditional POS systems, others are aging more like a fine wine or scotch with a solid foundation that has enabled them to grow alongside tech (more on that later).
Point of Sale (POS) technology has made significant strides in the past ten years, and you have probably heard a lot about cloud-based POS systems. However, there still appears to be confusion regarding what cloud POS does or doesn’t mean.
The objective of this guide is to break down the gap between cloud POS vs. traditional POS systems so that you can walk away with a clearer picture of what is the better choice for your company.
The Real Difference Between Cloud POS and Conventional POS
It all comes down to design. With legacy POS systems, each the data is saved on a local server in the company. That means the company owner or manager must be present in the physical location to see reports, make changes to the menu, or some other task involving the point of sale applications.
By today’s standards, a POS system that’s only available on-premise does not cut the mustard. However, 20+ years ago when point of sale systems started becoming popular with large enterprises that could afford them, there was not much option. By default, all conventional POS systems have variables that limit agility simply because of age:
Database selections were limited. You’d Visual Basic, C++, or Delphi to develop in. POS software companies needed to select a database structure and wrap their entire product around it.
The software company’s programmers had to decide on a programming language and standardize it across the whole application.
An Operating System (OS) had to be selected to execute the commands and tasks of the program. At the time, Windows was the only OS with meaningful market share and also the main reason many legacy systems were constructed using Windows.
But with age brings expertise. Experience construction decades worth of POS software features that can accommodate any size company in a specific industry. The development has been meticulous and slow — building on the needs of merchants like you. These traditional POS companies also have spent years creating extensive support resources to better serve their clients.
The perfect thing is unite the everyday experience of older age with all the vigor of youth. — George Bernard Shaw
Cloud POS solutions have had a very different development. Most started as technology companies with zero clients, no legacy source code or database, and little understanding of the business they were attempting to serve. That lack of knowledge concerning the mission-critical character of a POS system is a significant reason why some of the young cloud POS offerings have not gained traction in far more than a juice bar or market boutique. And of course, their customer service frequently leaves a lot to be desired.
In regards to cloud POS structure, POS information is saved on a hosted server at a remote location (“the cloud”) and accessed via an online connection.
On paper it is reasonable. Everything is online and app-driven nowadays, so using a web browser to operate your back office from anywhere certainly makes more sense than going to the shop and sitting down before the computer. Cloud POS systems also removed the in-store server configuration leveraged by legacy applications and replaced it with a more affordable, easy-to-manage server within an offsite datacenter.
Nevertheless, nobody took the time to ask,”What happens when the net goes down, and I can not link to the hosted server?” The solution is chaos. Betting on the reliability of DSL or cable net is a fool’s wager. There are a lot of factors beyond your control that paying for the cost of a local host would be well worth the investment — there is no dollar sign on reassurance.
Imagine how many hundreds or thousands of dollars that your company loses when a cloud-based POS system goes down minus the cost of a local server? Precisely.
The Hybrid Approach With Future POS
1 firm, in particular, managed to make the successful transition from conventional POS to cloud point of sale. Leveraging their decades of hospitality knowledge and POS business acumen, they knew they could not stand still and allow the development of cloud technology up them. The opportunity knocking at the door was too loud to ignore.
Over the last seven decades, Future POS has put their efforts into transitioning their database and making a web-based (cloud) back office, so business owners and managers have the best of both worlds. The stability, reliability, and feature-rich applications in addition to the true operational freedom that accompanies cloud technology.
The Bottom Line
What does this mean to the restaurant owner? You’ve got many legacy systems which are feature-rich, extremely reliable, but may appear outdated to some. On the flip side, you’ve got cloud POS systems which aren’t as functional or secure but have contemporary aesthetic appeal.
In regards to cloud POS vs. traditional POS, our very best advice to you is one you have heard since childhood — never judge a book by its cover. In cases like this, never judge a POS system for its marketing appeal. The backend functionality and features are what you ought to take under account. The way the system functions will have the most critical influence on your business — not how it appears. Plus, many conventional POS companies are currently offering hardware which looks much sleeker and more contemporary than the”legacy POS” gear you are used to seeing. And these systems have the advantage of being built-for-purpose to withstand the rigors of active retail and restaurant environments, unlike consumer pills which were never actually intended for this sort of use.
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