By Chris Siefken, Head of Technology, Xenial
A common topic among conversations I’ve had when meeting with customers, and most recently, at our User Conference, is this: the more restaurant IT leaders learn about making a move to a cloud POS, the more they realize how nascent the available technology is when it comes to enterprise readiness.
Any decisions related to transforming your enterprise restaurant technology infrastructure can be complicated and fraught with risk. Most CIO's who start the process of changing out POS systems or Back Office technologies end up losing their jobs or leaving before those projects are ever completed.
This fact is precisely what is informing my advice related to cloud POS transitions. When you make the transition from the data center to the cloud as a legacy business typically a hybrid strategy is best. Set up a direct or VPN connection from your data center to a private network in the cloud and begin deploying new servers and services to extend your network into the cloud. This approach gives a much lower risk method to learn, grow and add new services to your enterprise.
Building a bridge to the future
Cloud based POS systems in your restaurants should be considered in the same way. That is, you want a partner who can help by taking over parts of the infrastructure, like adding analytics and reporting over your legacy POS while sending data to your back office and accounting systems. These layers of hybrid cloud powered POS components will allow you to take advantage of key advancements now while working your way to replacing the POS systems in your stores without the risk of ripping and replacing.
Want my advice?
The key thing is to do something. And my advice has been to do a hybrid solution. Why? Because the learning you get from it pays dividends.
The less risky bridge to the cloud for restaurants
Thinking and acting strategically in a stepwise fashion enables you to make a shift in a controlled way so that you succeed. Your company and guests will benefit, and you’ll keep your job. Everyone wins.
What should you move to the cloud first?
Right now, a lot of brands are implementing digital ordering, mobile, and delivery. And this is a great place to start your move to the cloud. What do digital ordering, mobile, and delivery all have in common? The need to access your menu.
So the first thing I often recommend is to synchronize a brand's legacy menu management and maintenance system into a cloud environment. We’ve built some tools to automate this step and keep the data up to date. And of course, because digital ordering relies on location information, that plays a key part as well.
Whatever ordering endpoint you want to use - online, mobile app, delivery, or even cloud-powered, SDK-connected in-store kiosks, once you have menu and locations in the cloud, web services can access it. And, from one central location in the cloud, it’s easier to keep your menu and location information current.
With one central point to grab menu data and location information, and through which to inject orders into the store, everything else is an add-on. Do you want to update your POS to one that’s cloud-based? How about adding digital menu boards that you centrally manage? Once the core of your business, menu and locations, are in the cloud, it’s much less complicated and risky to add these components as resources and budget permit.
This article published with permission from its author, Chris Siefken.