Is it better to rideshare, take a taxi, or rent, lease, finance, or outright purchase a car? Should it be a convertible, coupe, or sedan?\u00a0 The answer, of course, is "it depends"\u2014on a variety of factors, which vary among customers and over time. \u00a0Similar variability of deployment models and architectures occurs with the cloud, too.\u00a0 Here are some examples of what leading companies are doing, and their presumed or stated rationales.\n\nGo all in on public cloud\u2014Netflix, with its streaming business, has been the poster child for public cloud adoption, arguably being a critical forcing function in the growth of the reliability and functionality of AWS, the cloud industry in general, and in best practices and tools for pubic cloud use.\nDo nothing\u2014But there is more to Netflix than streaming: its legacy DVDs-by-mail business is run out of a traditional corporate data center.\u00a0 Stable businesses don't necessarily need to exploit the elasticity of public clouds; physically oriented ones don't necessarily need to exploit geographic dispersion of front-end components for enhanced response time (connected things often do; DVDs may not); and, frankly, it's not always worth the migration costs.\nMigrate to the public cloud where possible\u2014Like Netflix, GE is \u201call in\u201d on cloud, consolidating and closing data centers and migrating applications where possible to the public cloud.\u00a0 But Chris Drumgoole, COO of Global Operations CoreTech at GE, recognizes\u00a0that \u201cmost of the apps and the systems that build machines [such as turbines] or transport them are not cloud-ready by any stretch.\u201d\u00a0\nStart public and stay there\u2014Online education company Coursera has been 100% AWS since Day 1, storing its static objects such as courseware in S3 and using CloudFront for content delivery to students around the world.\nGo hybrid\u2014Hybrid has a number of variants.\u00a0 In one, a single application can be load-balanced and autoscaled across private and public.\u00a0 Another hybrid approach positions various connected application components in private or public environments. \u00a0For example, Netflix's streaming business uses AWS for media transcoding, personalization, ordering, billing, and payments, but uses Open Connect\u2014Netflix\u2019s dedicated, owned appliances\u2014deployed at colocation\/interconnection facilities for content delivery.\nGet out of the cloud\u2014Some companies exit the public cloud due to flattening or manageable workload and customer demand growth, performance gains from non-shared architectures tuned to the firm\u2019s application(s), and\/or cost optimization.\u00a0 Uber started at AWS but moved to its own data centers to save money; Dropbox largely left AWS, even designing and building its own storage server\u2014called \u201cDiskotech\u201d\u2014to optimize price\/performance in its own data centers.\n\nStay away from the cloud\u2014Evernote has never utilized a public cloud.\u00a0 It estimated that running in a public cloud would quadruple its costs, and moreover, wants to maintain ultimate control over ensuring its customers\u2019 data is secure, including appropriately wiping physical disks removed from service.\n\n\nStart public, go private, then return to the public cloud\u2014Social gaming company Zynga famously utilized AWS during periods of heady growth, then built out its own infrastructure once growth flattened, finding a compelling financially compelling reduction in resource requirements by architecting an environment tuned to its application(s).\u00a0 However, when user demand turned negative, fixed resources became increasingly underutilized, prompting a return to AWS.\n\n\nStart private, go public, then return to private\u2014Instagram began life with a managed services provider, but with its growth exploding right out of the gate, migrated to AWS to exploit public cloud elasticity.\u00a0 However, after its acquisition by Facebook, its environment was consolidated into Facebook\u2019s data centers, leading to a threefold reduction in resource requirements and a fivefold improvement in photo upload time.\n\n\nGo multicloud\u2014It\u2019s practically a given these days that a company will use multiple SaaS providers, say, Salesforce.com for CRM, Zenefits for HR, WebEx for conferencing, and Gmail for email.\u00a0 What\u2019s interesting is when companies smartly use multiple IaaS providers.\u00a0 Netflix backs up snapshots of its AWS-resident data to the Google Cloud for more robust data protection, and Apple reportedly allegedly expanded beyond AWS and Microsoft Azure by adding Google to its list of cloud providers enabling iCloud behind the scenes.\n\n\nAll of the above\u2014Companies with a variety of businesses, processes, or applications\u2014practically every company, that is\u2014may choose some or all of the above approaches.\n\n\nBottom line: smart people at different organizations select different strategies at different times for different reasons. \u00a0What's your cloud strategy?