Where would the retail industry be without POS systems? These computer systems give stores a chance to keep track of their sales, inventory, and cash flow in addition to helping them sidestep the limitations of manually handling sales and inventory management.
In fact, modern POS systems go a lot further and offer additional benefits by giving managers an easier time as they run their businesses.
Today, POS systems are connected to the internet.
But it is also true that not all POS systems are connected to the internet! Some of these systems are not connected to the internet at all, particularly traditional or legacy POS systems. Instead, they store the data they collect on servers physically located in the place where the businesses operate from.
It’s true, your POS does not have to be connected to the internet, but you have plenty to worry about if your system does not synchronize its data to the cloud.
Here are some risks you expose your business to when you fail to use a system that is connected to the internet:
- Lack of updates
- Vulnerability of the servers
- Risks of failure due to maintenance costs
- Data security risks
- Inaccessibility risks
- System incompatibility risks
Modern cloud-based POS systems such as Alice POS are always connected to the internet.
There are many reasons why you should insist on having a POS system with a connection to the internet as opposed to a system that is not connected.
One of the many downsides to using traditional or legacy systems, which do not have an internet connectivity feature, is that you will not always have the necessary updates. There are a couple of reasons for this.
Not Having the Internet Has a Cost
When your POS system runs on physical servers, you have to pay for these updates and that can get expensive. Additionally, these updates are done periodically, which means you have to operate the system for months or even over a year before you can get it updated.
Lack of updates can be a huge risk in these systems. Indeed, a single and huge upgrade can change the systems so much that users sometimes need to relearn how to use them all over again.
Keep Up With the Changes
That is not what happens when you use a cloud-based POS system which is always connected to the internet.
For these systems, updates are available to the users as soon as the software provider makes them. A huge benefit to these updates is that they are absolutely free, which means they don’t represent an ongoing expense for you.
Keeping up with the changes in the system is also easy with cloud-based POS systems since updates are done in small segments over time, and the users have an easier time adjusting to them.
2. Vulnerabilities and Downsides of a Data Center
Traditional point of sale softwares that do not have access to the internet will have to deal with downsides about data stored in server rooms. These data centers are exposed to several common risks like any other type of warehouse.
Avoid Fire Damages
Fires don’t always happen, but when you have as important a system as a POS system, this is a risk you have to consider while setting it up. The thing about fire is that it destroys things that are physically present at the site of the fire, such as legacy POS system servers.
Avoid Flooding Damages
Floods have caused many woes for businesses running computerized systems without an internet connection, such as legacy POS systems. When flooding occurs, it can completely destroy the servers on which data collected from a legacy point of sale system is stored.
This can completely derail the business, as important products and sales information is lost.
However, modern cloud-based POS systems are completely immune to this risk as all the important information is stored in the cloud.
Even in the event of a fire, or a flood at your store location running your POS system, the system and all of your data will be up as soon as your terminals, receipt printers and other hardware are replaced.
3. Increased Risks of Failure Due to Higher Maintenance Costs
It’s important to manage the finances of your business to avoid useless expenses and it starts by choosing a modern POS system that will still be relevant in the years to come. Why choose a point of sale system that tends to become outdated?
Losing Time With a Legacy POS
The cost of setting up a legacy point of sale system can be pretty high, and so can the costs of maintaining these systems. Therefore you are more likely to put off important maintenance work until a later date due to the cost implications they will have on your business.
That can have dire consequences because your system might fail at any time and bring the business to a standstill due to lack of proper software maintenance.
On the other hand, cloud-based point of sale systems are less likely to suffer catastrophic failures due to maintenance issues. To begin with, users of these systems don’t have to pay for their maintenance since the database hardware and the software are owned and managed by the service provider.
You will also not have to schedule any maintenance since the company offering you the cloud-based POS services will do this regularly on its own schedule.
When a traditional POS system crashes, all data can be lost. A single mistake from someone with access to the system could mean the complete loss of all the information held on the POS system’s servers.
Avoid Technical Issues and Virus Attacks
Other security risks can come about due to technical issues experienced within the system or even the theft of the servers or data storage hardware.
Additionally, in the case of a virus attack, the whole system can crash. This data can also be easily stolen by third parties and used to your company’s detriment.
Protect Your Data
Issues of hardware breakdowns or theft causing data security risk are much less in the case of cloud-based point of sale systems.
These softwares use the latest data protection methods to ensure that hackers don’t get easy access to your data. They also have in place other measures that make sure that your data is held in various locations so that no single security incident would disrupt your business entirely.
When a point of sale system is not connected to the internet, you have to be physically present to access the data it collects.
Consider the case of a multi-store business operation. In this kind of system, you would have to visit each one of your stores in order to get information from their individual point of sale systems.
This is obviously a huge inconvenience and one which a cloud-based POS system avoids entirely. The data in such systems can also become completely inaccessible if for one reason or another you are not able to access the business operation where the POS hardware is stored.
Access Your POS System Everywhere
Cloud-based POS systems don’t have this challenge. For instance, with Alice POS, you can get access to all the information about your business operation from wherever you are in the world, as long as you have an internet connection. Needless to say, this is a huge advantage to the users of this system.
In other words, just by having a system that is constantly connected to the internet, managers can have access to all the information they need about the businesses they are managing, regardless of how many individual stores they manage.
6. System Incompatibility Risks
Some old POS systems have a reputation for working only when you have the hardware specified by the vendor.
These same vendors, even when you stick to them over the years, can make drastic changes to their systems and force you to get new hardware that works with their new and updated POS software.
When you consider how big of an expense these systems can be, this is a huge risk that can very well put a dent in your profitability.
Reduce the Number of Hardware Needed and Reduce the Costs
Incompatibility risks are minimized when using a POS system with a connection to the web. For these systems, you only need to buy a few pieces of hardware to handle the processing of cards, printing of receipts and reading of bar codes and you are good to go.
You could also already own some of these hardware and save yourself from useless expenses.
You should strive to have in place a POS system that is always connected to the internet.
These systems are cheaper and will give you benefits such as lower risks of damage from flooding, fire, lack of updates and so forth when compared to legacy or traditional systems.
Many modern businesses are using cloud-based systems such as Alice POS because they make the management of retail stores much easier and give unlimited remote access to the important data.
Therefore, using a traditional POS system without an internet connection is an inconvenience and an unwise business decision at a time when advanced POS software has made running large businesses much easier and more efficient.