Monday, February 10, 2014

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Cloud-Based POS Software

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The ‘Cloud’ is an Internet-based platform for many business tools, including POS system software. When you use the Cloud for your computing needs, you data is stored onto an Internet-based platform rather than on the hard-drive of your computer or other device. As many companies do rely on Cloud-based platforms for their business operations and their point of sale software, you may wonder if you should switch to this type of software. This article lists off a few advantages and disadvantages of using Cloud-based POS software, so you can make an informed decision for your company. 

Convenience

The main and most important advantage of using Cloud-Based POS Software is how easy-to-use and accessible it can be. You can reach your business sales transactions data anywhere and anytime you have Wi-Fi. Even better, you can use a Cloud-Based system on the go with a mobile device and ring purchases or show items to a customer in person outside of your boutique or business hours if needed; possibly boosting sales and retaining more clients in the long-term. However, what happens when your Internet connection goes down? The necessity of having an Internet connection to operate Cloud-based POS system software is both its biggest advantage and inconvenience. If your place of work does not have a Wi-Fi connection available or has internet connection problems, you might want to stay away from Cloud-based software. Investigate software which offers offline options -- that way if your Internet stops working, your cloud POS doesn’t.

Price-Efficiency and Effectiveness

Cloud-Based POS software can significantly reduce the amount of funds you allocate to your POS system software. Its price goes up to a few hundred dollars, at most, compared to a few thousand dollars for traditional POS system software. Additionally, most cloud-based POS software will not force you into staying in a contract, so you can switch from one system to the other without paying fees or penalties. If you will not be using the POS very much, you can opt for a per-transaction fee and will be charged only when you actually make a sale. If you know your volume of sales will be more important, many Cloud-based software offers per-month or per-year subscriptions. Software updates will be usually done automatically on your device and for free, avoiding additional costs to keep your equipment up to date.  However, make sure switching from your existing POS to cloud-based system software will not force you to pay extra fees and penalties from stopping your current subscription or service.

Security

Because your POS data is stored entirely online, you don’t have to worry about your POS system software being accessed by fraudulent entities Additionally, the information is also backed-up on the Cloud so your data will never be lost if your hardware stops working. Your downtime will be reduced, which can avoid loss of profits and clients. However, some business owners prefer keeping their data ‘in the house.’ Whether you chose to store your data ‘on the cloud’ or keep it at your place of business depends on how comfortable you feel with each type of POS system software. If you don’t feel comfortable about storing your data online, don’t switch to a Cloud-based system just yet.

Clouds-based system software have many advantages for business professionals on the go, looking for more flexibility and accessibility for their point of sale. It is also a great option for smaller businesses.

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