Since the not-so-distant past of the early 2000s, the concept of sharing space on servers and other computing services has been an ever-increasing part of our technology-driven world. Nowadays, the software as a service (SaaS) model offers solutions for nearly every personal and business matter you can think of. The cloud is not just above our heads but in every part of our lives.
For retail and the food services industries in particular, a move to the cloud can bring new found freedom and flexibility to your business, thanks to linked hardware like an iPad POS system. Here’s what you need to know if you’re considering moving your business to the cloud.
Is it the right time for you to move to the cloud?
Moving your business operations to the cloud might make you feel “lighter” - no more servers humming in the basement, no more accounting ledgers stacked on office shelves. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a considerable undertaking. When you’re putting together a business case for adopting cloud services, think about how recently you have invested in traditional software, hardware, or people power to do these operations. Traditional services usually incur higher upfront costs. If you’ve recently made big spends in that area, it’s worth weighing up the pros and cons of moving to cloud-based technologies right now.
That being said, one of the major benefits of the cloud is the time it can save your business. For retail, restaurants and cafes, for example, using an iPad POS connected to the cloud for inventory, accounting and customer information gets so many essential business operations done in a few taps. You can serve customers faster, track your stock, do accounting in real time, and get reports to help you plan marketing in a more strategic way.
The benefits of moving to the cloud
With technology constantly evolving, businesses should be considering moving to the cloud now rather than later in order to really make the most of it. And to help you decide, here are five key benefits you could be missing out on:
1. Fewer maintenance worries
You can say goodbye to a lot of the costs, time and risk involved in building and maintaining your own in-house IT infrastructure. POS software is automatically upgraded online, just like the apps on your phone.
2. More scalability
Traditional IT services and software are often a lot less flexible when it comes to your storage and capacity options. Cloud models usually have different levels that you can choose between for how much of the resources you will use. And if your business takes off, you can upgrade easily.
3. More security
You might think that you couldn’t get much more secure than when you lost the key to the server room in the back of a cab and it took a locksmith hours to open the door again. But the security around cloud services is on another level. Data centers are huge operations guarded by strict security and with complex procedures in place to mitigate outages.
4. More flexibility
The cloud, by nature, is everywhere. As part of a digital strategy for your business, you can benefit from the option of working on your business operations wherever there’s a Wi-Fi connection. The best online POS systems will even have an offline mode so you can keep selling products and taking payments wherever you are.
5. Less industry inequality
You don't need to spend time and considerable money setting up bulky IT infrastructure. Cloud services mean you can get things up and running quickly and are usually based on a monthly subscription model. This means you’ll have more money from the start to spend on creative ways to gain an advantage over your competitors.
Are you thinking about trying an iPad POS and cloud services for your business?
The concept of cloud services has been around for decades. Every week, new SaaS models are being launched to help businesses. Despite this, we are still seeing new ways for organizations and companies making to make the most of cloud-based services.
Both new and established businesses with existing IT infrastructure can easily choose POS software and other cloud services for accounting and project management that fit their requirements. The cost implications are a consideration, but the long term benefits are clear.