Today, the market is divided in new and interesting ways. With the advent of SaaS products, and the growing prevalence of borderless enterprise, businesses find themselves facing a choice. Is traditional desktop software still relevant? Is SaaS worth the compromises? Which is better? We won’t attempt to answer that in this article, but we will give you some information to make the decision yourself.
The Greatest Benefits of Desktop Products
Although it’s easy to brush off traditional desktop software when you’re upgrading your POS system, it’s actually still a serious contender for your business.
Traditional desktop software requires an upfront investment. Usually, this sets businesses back to the tune of thousands. Not all software is so expensive, but businesses with more than one system often need to make bigger investments. The benefits, however, are many. To begin with, desktop software is all yours, forever. It may get a little outdated in a decade or so, but you won’t have to pay for monthly fees. This allows you to save. During the interim, you can save up for new desktop products, once your existing suite grows too outdated for functionality.
Desktop software also allows easier customization. If you are paying for customized software, you want that product to work with what you already have. Since desktop software is static, unlike SaaS, which sees frequent updates, it can be easier for developers to work around. It’s also easier to ensure compatibility if you can see the whole system and know it isn’t going to change in the near future.
Traditional desktop products also have the advantage of function. You can trust that they will work anytime, anywhere, so long as you have power. Many SaaS products require internet access in order to access critical storage or processing functions. Everything is on-site. While you may still need internet for some functions, such as email, you can do nearly everything, including backing up files, without an internet connection.
You are also in control of your software. SaaS products are constantly updated, and developers have backdoors built into the products so they can work on the system without stopping to request access. While this system does have some advantages, many businesses with sensitive information prefer to limit the number of eyes with access to their POS data.
The Greatest Benefits of SaaS Products
SaaS (Software as a Service) treats software as a subscription. This new line of products, brought on by developing cloud technology, allow users to literally rent software. SaaS subscriptions come at a fraction of the cost of traditional desktop software, which is great for small, budget-conscious businesses. The upfront costs are minimal, but they can and will build up over time. SaaS users don’t just use these alternative products for savings, though.
SaaS gives small businesses a tremendous amount of flexibility. They can try the software for a month, and if they don’t like it, they’re free to go elsewhere. More importantly, they can change the number of features, storage space, and more whenever it’s time to renew their subscription. If a business is about to exceed their storage, they can change their subscription to reflect their growth as a business. Today, these flexible benefits are key.
Another advantage of SaaS products is maintenance. Rather than waiting for a repairman to come to your place of business to figure out why your software just won’t work, developers can fix your product remotely. Updates are effortless, because the developers handle that, too. You don’t have to pay for a technician to drive out, and the speed of service is excellent. Developers do have access to your SaaS products, which some business owners may not like, but developers’ connections are usually even more secure than your own.
SaaS operates and stores data in the cloud. Everything is automatically backed up, and even if your system crashes, or you’re the victim of theft, your data is safe. Your backups will always be available, no matter what happens to your hardware. This allows you to indulge in some peace of mind and focus on more important things, like running your business.
POS systems always depend on the type of business and the customer base in question. A great solution for your neighbor’s business may not help you at all. Although SaaS is incredibly popular with small, mobile businesses and startups, a lot of traditional storefronts still prefer desktop software. These two kinds of product fit significantly different needs. They’re tailored to appeal to a particular market, just like your products are, and you must determine which market you belong to before you go shopping. Consider how much traffic your POS will need to deal with, how mobile you need to be, and what your short term budget looks like. This information will help you get started as you choose between the benefits of desktop and SaaS POS products.