Cloud vs. Native POS systems – Which one does your business need?

Posted by Jim Walker

If you own a retail store and buy a new POS system, you may want to choose between an on-premise or cloud-based software.  A flagship POS is a huge investment of both money and time. So, it is really very vital to research on your own and to choose the best option for your business. We are going to cover both cloud POS and traditional POS. 

Native POS 

Also known as traditional POS or legacy POS, a native POS system is used to store information on your own database. It stores the documents or reports on your own computer. The main issue is the lack of portability. You cannot access the same from any other place. 

Cloud POS system 

With cloud POS, data is stored in the cloud. It means it is accessible from any place with a stable internet connection. Some of the best examples are Dropbox and Google Drive for cloud storage. SaaS model is also used with the cloud. It is vital to keep in mind that you cannot find 100% cloud-hosted hybrid platforms. On the other side, there are true cloud applications that are SaaS systems. These systems are hosted centrally and are based on subscription. This is why SaaS is very easy and cost-effective to maintain in comparison to hybrid systems.  

Native vs. Cloud POS

 Investment – High upfront cost is one of the main issues of on-premise POS. The hardware, maintenance, and re-installation totally add up the upfront fees. In addition, native POS software is expensive unless you can use it in the long run.  Usually, cloud POS software needs a very small upfront cost. It is known to have automatic updates and managed by the vendor. So, you don’t have to worry about maintenance costs. But the charges of cloud POS providers are based on different factors, such as employees, inventory, and a number of stores. Cloud POS can be expensive if you need to build it as per your store. 

Data Accessibility – In this factor, there are some disadvantages with native POS solutions versus cloud POS. It goes without saying that data is stored on a local server. So, data can be accessed only when you are in-store or on-site. There is no need to be in-store to check reports and change the inventory if you have cloud POS. 
Updates – You need to update native POS manually and it may need tech support onsite. It takes a lot of money and time and it is quite disruptive. You cannot use POS while updating it. On the other side, cloud POS can be updated in the background. It gives real-time updates. It saves up maintenance costs and keeps the software up-to-date.

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