All you need to manage all your retail activities from a single location with ease is a POS software application. Tracking expenses, inventory, sales, and more is a breeze with a POS. Unlike using spreadsheet software.
Whether you’re looking to upgrade your existing retail management solution or want to purchase a brand new one, you will have two choices based on software coding – an open-source POS application and a closed-source POS application.
Open-source POS software comes with its fair share of advantages. It costs less, is flexible, comes with support depending on the user community’s size, and more. At first glance, you may find the open-source application an attractive option. But it is also pivotal to consider the risks associated with this type of application. And there are many that have the potential to bring your retail operations to a grinding halt.
We discuss why purchasing an open-source POS software system isn’t worth the risk in this article. Let’s get started.
What is open-source software?
Let’s understand what an open-source application fundamentally is. Open-source software systems are decentralized programs that rely on a community to create and maintain its functionalities. The code of the software is open to the public. That means individuals using the software have easy access to the code. And because of that, developers can modify and recreate the software however they like.
Why using open-source POS software applications is a risk
Flaws are known to the public
The working of the components in open-source POS software systems is public knowledge. Individuals with access to these applications can study, modify, and re-engineer them. Any vulnerabilities that exist in open-source systems are highly appealing to cybercriminals. And they can exploit the software’s flaws.
Lapses in updating the components of this type of software system leave your data open to cyberattacks. Even after updation, community members still have a good chance of abusing any gaps prevalent in the software’s code.
Lack of security protocol
The code of an open-source POS system can be robust. Given that fact, implementing separate security protocols is vital to thwart cyberattacks. As opposed to closed-source software, the community behind open-source applications doesn’t take responsibility for security breaches. In addition to that, the community does not provide clear instructions on setting up adequate security measures. You will need to look up and stay up to date with the latest software protection protocols manually.
Open-source POS software developers do not provide any warranties pertaining to its content or support. Because of this shortcoming, software features can stop working or disappear without any notice. Furthermore, open-source application creators are often anonymous. Verifying the originality of the code they use to make the software can be difficult. Using the software unaware that it breaches intellectual property rights will hold you responsible for the infringement.
Disregarding software support leads to severe potential problems. You may need to contact support for reasons such as operating the software and troubleshooting issues. With open-source POS applications, reaching for help can be a hassle. With various creators behind each software component, contacting the individual responsible for the problem you experience will be the only solution. Only some open-source POS applications are fortunate to have a rich forum thread. Support in many others is absent.
Lack of accountability
In closed-source POS systems, the vendor and its team take full responsibility for the software’s operation. With open-source POS systems, that is not the case. As different developers contribute to the software, there’s no telling how each of their components will interact with one another. This caveat is especially a problem when you update these types of applications. Incompatibility of software components increases the complexity of using the application.
Tightening the risks
You can use an open-source POS billing software application to run retail operations. If you’re lucky, you may not experience problems in the first few weeks of using it. Nevertheless, the software will have many risks. When the application succumbs to the exploitation of those risks, your business could bear a significant negative impact.
On the other hand, you can spend less time worrying about your retail management solution being secure and reliable by purchasing a closed-source POS system. SmartPOS is a cutting-edge, feature-rich, and secure POS solution. Designed for all kinds of stores, SmartPOS comes with responsive support and training. Get in touch with our experts to book a demo session of SmartPOS. Amp up your retail operations today.