March 25, 2021 | Todd Davy
Technology is constantly changing the way we do things, from how we watch TV to how we shop. Likewise, technology has changed the car wash business and has taken it further than anyone could have imagined. It made unlimited wash plans not only feasible but central to a carwash business and the growth of the entire industry. It provided data that helped operators adjust and optimize their operations. It streamlined nearly every aspect of running a carwash.
Now car wash operators are at the precipice of another technology-driven change as the point-of-sale system of the future adopts the Hybrid-Cloud model. This model leverages the strengths of the On-Premise and Cloud-Based computing environments to provide a system that is more flexible, accessible and efficient.
To see why using a car wash POS built on Hybrid-Cloud architecture is so beneficial, you first need to understand how the more traditional computing environments work.
On-Premise refers to the method of installing and running software on the user’s own computers that reside inside their own facilities. The advantage of this model is that it doesn’t require internet connectivity. On-Premise software also tends to process information faster because it’s not sending information to a remote server.
On the downside, an On-Premise car wash POS system is not efficient for multi-site operations as the synchronization of data across sites is more difficult. And while it’s not impacted by the quality of the internet connection, it does rely on the server being operational. If the server is down, so is the wash.
Today, nearly everything lives “in the cloud,” giving you access to everything from music to your bank account anytime from any internet device. Cloud technology uses a network of remote servers hosted on the internet to store, manage and process data.
Cloud-based car wash point-of-sale systems offer a lot of perks not available with On-Premise models. Synchronization of data across sites is easier in the cloud. It’s also good for growing businesses because the computing resources are scalable. Because everything is hosted in the cloud, it offers native remote access so car wash operators can manage their businesses anytime from anywhere. Cloud-based POS systems also offer built-in back up of data, so if you lose data for any reasons, the system will failover to another instance of your application.
However, this technology comes with its own challenges. The main drawback is that it relies completely on a strong internet connection. An outage, or even a weak connection, can create unexpected downtime or latency.
Hybrid-Cloud Architecture offers the speed of an on-premise model with all the benefits of a cloud implementation. Car wash operators using a POS with this type of architecture enjoy:
- Native remote access to cloud services, allowing for multi-site management from anywhere and efficient data analytics in the cloud
- Continued operation during times of poor internet connectivity or internet outages
- Integrations with powerful third-party applications (data analytics, tax processing, human resources, time clock, etc.)
Within the Hybrid-Cloud framework, these POS systems are leveraging edge computing. This means that instead of everything being processed in the cloud, these new systems process key services, such as user interfaces, tunnel communications and payments, locally before sending them to the cloud. This speeds up processing, reducing frustrating delays.
POS systems built on Hybrid-Cloud architecture also get updates pushed through the cloud. So instead of waiting to have a new version installed to get new features, you’ll automatically receive them as soon as they are available. Plus, it is easy to spin-up new sites for growing organizations.
Headed for the Future
Technology has transformed the car wash industry before, and it's happening again now with technology like the Hybrid-Cloud architecture. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. Stay tuned as we reveal more developments that will accelerate the growth of the industry and your business.