As a small business owner, you might have considered Software as a Service (SaaS) options for managing your operations. SaaS, or cloud-based software, follows a model which makes applications available to customers on the internet via a monthly subscription.
What are the advantages of subscribing to cloud-based point of sale program?
We are commonly requested if cloud-based software includes automatic, automatic updates. The brief answer is yes!
Traditional regional database systems can be upgraded when necessary, but the procedure is more complicated and long-winded. When you invest in a SaaS point of sale system, a painless software upgrade is rolled out to all users. The POS user will get these upgrades as they receive regular maintenance updates for their PC.
Another example of how this works is the smartphone. Many people have their phone’s apps updating automatically, with changes continuously being made behind the scenes. Important changes are infrequent — and unless the app’s emblem is redesigned, you probably do not notice most updates.
Keep up with the Point of Sale Industry
With all this said, what exactly does this mean to your POS software? Are consistent updates worth the continuing subscription payments for the program? As stated, like a smartphone, most upgrades will not be noticeable. However, because POS software must maintain current security requirements and protocols, our SaaS clients really benefit from automatic updates when important updates roll out. We have outlined two examples of important updates below.
The most famous industry-wide security upgrade happened when chip cards became available to people and business owners were forced to upgrade their hardware and applications to accommodate to the new payment process. Frustration around this upgrade lasted for months as merchants underwent the update procedure. Unlike many updates which only affect the merchant, this business change was apparent to customers as the whole checkout procedure was altered. Merchants could not avoid this update because it became very obvious very quickly if their company was not capable of accepting chip cards.
More recently, in January 2018, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) mandated that all merchants have to be upgraded to TLS 1.2 and SHA-2. To put it simply, Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA) are protocols for encryption protection — and it became compulsory to become up-to-date with these criteria to prevent data hacks. This was extremely important for merchants to be on board , as it secure their customers’ credit card information and other essential data. Merchants were penalized if they didn’t take action to make sure they were up-to-date. Unlike processor cards, this was a behind-the-scenes upgrade that many SaaS merchants likely did not realize occurred. But merchants who weren’t using a SaaS program and failed to make the essential update did notice if they could no longer accept chip cards before their software was upgraded. TLS 1.2 and SHA-2 was yet another attempt to make payments safer, and as you might have seen, industry changes such as this are not going to stop happening anytime soon.
Both these examples show how cloud-based merchants had an edge over local database users in the middle of industry updates. While those using a local database system needed to schedule appointments to have their software updated, SaaS business owners received an automatic upgrade and were ahead of the game. Software as a Service users can enjoy the flexibility of being upgraded by their vendor instead of needing to buy one-time upgrades to fulfill ever-changing security requirements.
Final Thoughts on SaaS
To sum up, the minor updates our SaaS customers get might not initially seem worth the continuing cost of the software subscription. However, when industry-wide security protocols have been rolled out, our SaaS clients may continue their operations without the hassle of scheduling an off-the-shelf update appointment. Typically, avoiding any disruption to your business is well worth the monthly cost of your SaaS subscription.