June 29, 2016
Before we can tackle what bolt-on cloud applications are, let us first understand what the cloud is. In a nutshell, cloud computing is the use of a network of servers used to store data for you or your business, and these servers are accessible via the internet. These servers can house software, data, and many more, giving companies the much needed extra space they need without having to install their own servers on site.
When you avail of the services of a cloud service provider, you will be presented with a plethora of options. These can include not only the use of the server for your data storage needs, but also the capability to run programs and tasks directly on these servers. These include such options as SaaS (Software as a Service) and PaaS (Platform as a Service), to name a couple.
Defining the Term Bolt-on and Understanding What It Is
Some cloud service providers offer bolt-on applications. The term bolt-on can be generally understood as a cloud term for add-on. Bolt-on applications can be easily compared to an afterthought, since these are added to a system only after it has been built. In other words, a bolt-on application is an addition to a current system, and is added when it is discovered after everything is done, you still need something to complete your system.
These bolt-ons are technically not part of the overall system, but are rather something that is added to complement or complete it. These are considered only when it would be rather tedious and too time consuming to start over in order to add the necessary additions that have been discovered after the system has been made. These are utilized by websites who do not want to waste time and effort recoding and reconstructing the site from scratch just to integrate one or two elements that can be easily incorporated as bolt-ons.
An example of a bolt-on is an accounting or payroll program. This can be integrated into a company’s human resource tracking and timekeeping system without the need for the said company to have this system reprogrammed to integrate payroll and accounting needs. This allows a company to calculate salaries, bonuses, and the like without needing to have their timekeeping and personnel systems reworked.
Is a Cloud Bolt-on Application Necessary for Your Business?
Figuring out whether or not your business will need a cloud bolt-on application is dependent on whether or not your systems require additional features. Some companies find that a bolt-on is indeed a better and more cost-effective option. This is when compared with needing to have their system or website reworked to integrate the features that they either forgot to integrate early on, or want to add on to help improve their site.
Some companies also choose to use these add-ons when they find that the existing software or programs that are coded into their system are not as efficient as they would have liked. A company that needs to find an alternative that works better for them, and fits their needs perfectly without having to undergo downtimes for a reworking of the system, will more often than not choose to go with a bolt-on.