We’ve moved past the era of scroll-work cash registers and typewriter receipts, but POS systems continue to evolve. By restricting your business to legacy POS systems, you deprive it of the opportunities, the latest, Cloud based POS systems provide. Legacy systems worked very well for the first part of the Twenty-First Century, but business has evolved. Today, customers and businesses alike work and buy outside of traditional storefronts. Even in those traditional shops, demands have changed. Today, POS systems need the mobility, flexibility, and availability your business demands. Legacy POS systems hold businesses back with prohibitive costs and inconveniences.
A legacy POS system is bound to a single location. Everything from the server that holds its data to the cumbersome front of house equipment is difficult, costly, and time consuming to move. This system cannot travel to trade fairs with you. Modern business practices demand a level of spontaneity, and if you cannot accept sales on the go or during events, you cut away a valuable source of revenue. Even if you decide to use a secondary POS system for such events, you give yourself more work. When you return to your regular point of sale, you must take all the information from your remote sales and add it, probably manually, into records and bookkeeping software. All this goes without saying that you literally have to pay for two different POS systems in this illustration.
Storage and Expansion
As mentioned above, a legacy POS system keeps its memory and records in an on-site server. This server keeps all of your information relatively secure and very close at hand, but it is essentially impossible to pack up and move on a regular basis. It will not fit in your pocket. It won’t fit in your suitcase. It may not even fit in your car. While you can move a server along with other heavy duty machinery and appliances should you permanently move to a new storefront, it won’t be going with you to trade fairs, festivals, or other temporary market spaces.
Servers provide limited storage space as well. They provide a lot of space, true, but if your business succeeds, you will eventually need to add more servers to handle and record your transactions. Servers take up a lot of space, so unless you have a very large, well ventilated back room, you may need to upgrade your storefront just to provide enough space for your servers. They can’t just sit anywhere. Servers frequently overheat, and you need to keep them cool with heavy duty air conditioning at all times. You may even need a generator just for the air conditioning in case of power failure. After all, if your servers bake themselves, you’re in for a lot of costly repairs.
While maintenance technicians can access Cloud based servers at any time through a secured process, legacy POS systems need someone to treat them in person. Just as it’s cheaper to pay for remote software adjustments, it’s much more affordable to have someone fix your POS from the convenience of their own office. Otherwise, you pay not only for the actual repair time, but also for travel and associated costs. While many Cloud based POS systems include at least some free maintenance, legacy POS systems rarely come with free support. You must pay for every glitch and accident, even if the error came as a fault in the programming.
Legacy POS systems cost a lot up front and continue to cost throughout their lifetimes. In addition to the cost of running a server in your storefront, you will need periodic repairs and regular maintenance. Legacy POS systems cost over a thousand dollars per year, and that’s for a low end system. Cloud based POS systems cost a fraction as much for comparative packages. Since Cloud based POS systems come as SaaS (Software as a Service), you can easily upgrade or downgrade between packages based on demand or revenue. Monthly payments depend on the services you order, and you can always find a package that has exactly what you need. Once you choose a legacy POS system, however, you’re stuck with it until you can afford an entirely new system. This restricts growing businesses on the brink of expansion.
It isn’t hard to see the flaws in a legacy POS system. Its one potential advantage over Cloud based POS systems is its ability to function without the Internet. However, this advantage still holds flaws. Usually, businesses lose Internet connection thanks to power outages, and unless a business has enough generators to keep the entire building and every appliance running, it’s impossible to do business anyway. Some Cloud based POS systems are currently addressing this issue, and soon many will have optional offline modes.
Whether you need a POS system that can travel, a more affordable POS option, or you’re simply tired of bulky servers eating up precious office space, a legacy POS system will let you down. These isolated systems restrict businesses, keeping trade confined to the limits of traditional storefronts. If you’re ready for an upgrade, look to Cloud based POS systems.