Imagine that it’s rush hour at your business. The time of day when, often for reasons not entirely clear, the best customers flock to your location to spend their money freely on your awesome products and services. It’s a time that every business owner looks forward to, especially when there’s a need to make up for downtime.

Now, imagine that just as the first of many customers crosses the threshold of your most holy grounds, the most important tool for success crashes. That tool is none other than your point-of-sale (POS) system.

For many business owners, this isn’t a nightmare; it’s a reality that they have experienced at least once, if not several times. Aside from being unreliable, traditional POS systems are infamous for their cluttered interfaces and sluggish speeds, making them frustrating to use even when they are functioning as they should. Among many others, these are some of the problems that have spawned a surge in the development of cloud-based, online POS systems. And the benefits of using online POS systems are numerous.

Cloud-Based Data Security

For those of you who have not yet heard of these systems, cloud-based POS systems take all of the best functions of traditional POS systems and bring them into the 21st century. Online POS systems store all data on remote servers in the cloud. This element alone provides a huge advantage over traditional POS systems, which usually store data on a local hard drive, rendering them susceptible to the same type of data loss and crashes as any ordinary home computer.

Compatible with All of Your Devices

In addition to security of data, because cloud-based POS systems run online, they are usually compatible with any Internet-enabled device with a browser, including desktop and laptop computers, iPads and other tablet PCs, and even most smartphone models. As long as the app supports your device’s Internet browser, it should function in its full capacity. This is a godsend for most business owners, who often shell out more for the POS hardware or terminal than they do for the actual POS software itself.

Access Anywhere, Anytime

Business owners on the go should especially find online POS systems advantageous to the old, clunky terminals they are so used to. Like any web based application, online POS systems allow users to access data anytime, anywhere, putting them directly in touch with the day to day operations of their businesses 24/7.

The same way many businesses are switching to cloud-based office services like Google Docs, Zoho Office Suite, or Office 365, business owners should consider moving their core sales software to a more secure, reliable, and simple place, where access to this software is limited by little more than an Internet connection (and if you can’t find one of those, you might have bigger problems than accessing your POS…).

Freedom Included

More than anything, cloud-based POS systems provide business owners with more freedom. The freedom to choose their own hardware, the freedom to sleep at night knowing their data is secure, and the freedom to access this data on the go from whatever device is handy.

Among the many cloud-based POS apps that continue to pop up, there is one thing that unites them: the goal of eliminating technical difficulties from daily business operations, so that business owners can get back to doing what they should have been doing in the first place — running a business.