Is a cloud-based POS or PMS right for your business? Every application has its own unique cloud migration path. And every business will have its own access needs and workflow requirements. There isn’t a “one size fits all” approach when it comes to moving systems above property. Here are a few guidelines to consider before embarking on a cloud migration project.
1. Thoroughly research your own requirements before migrating. It's important to carefully study your existing IT infrastructure, needs and usage to determine if cloud migration is right for your operation. Assess which solutions are best suited to a cloud environment, as not all of them should migrate. There are some, including POS and PMS, that perform better in the cloud. It’s important to fine-tune the list of apps that should make the migration to achieve optimal cloud performance.
2. Security is paramount. Ask you prospective cloud service provider to clearly define the security services it will deliver. These details should be explained thoroughly in a SLA (Services Level Agreement). Making your expectations known to ensure the provider knows how they’re being measured and exactly what’s expected.
3. Consider either hiring in-house technical talent or a third-party to provide guidance and make sure the contract with the cloud provider includes indemnification to protect the business, guests and investors. A provider with multi-layered security protocols provides more failsafe measures that enhance the overall security of the business and your customers. While we can’t reasonably expect to off-load compliance and governance responsibilities to a cloud service provider, the good news is most reputable cloud-based solutions use powerful encryptions that can’t easily be overcome by hackers.
4. A typical error made by those who have already migrated to the cloud? Not leveraging in-house IT staff, who can complement the cloud providers’ team of experts and ensure operators have sufficient data management and control, allowing you to maximize cloud ROI. In-house staff have knowledge about how the business operates and cloud-based solutions free them up to better focus on technologies that are driving revenue and improving guest service.
5. Another common mistake is getting rid of old hardware too quickly. After migrating to the cloud, used IT hardware still has value. Consider a hardware exchange to recoup some IT budget.
The future holds great technology innovations that will have a beneficial effect on the hospitality industry and options abound for operators to choose the best technology for their unique business needs. We’re just beginning to harness the advantages of cloud-based POS and PMS, and in doing so gaining the power to respond quickly to guest requests, safeguard confidential data and even add a layer of protection against hackers and ransom attacks.