Everyone knows that businesses are investing heavily in public and private cloud computing these days, as well as hybrid cloud solutions that combine elements of both. Why they’re investing in one of those deployment models versus the others, however, is somewhat murkier. Thankfully, a recent IDG Research poll of senior IT executives at companies with 1,000 or more employees sheds interesting light on that topic in ways that hint at what technology decision-makers see as each major cloud deployment option’s chief strength.

For example, 72 percent of poll respondents cited rapid scalability as a motivation for their public cloud investments, while 67 percent and 57 percent respectively cited enhanced agility and faster time-to-market. All three figures suggest that IT leaders closely associate public cloud computing, which frees companies from the time-consuming burdens of installing and maintaining hardware, with speed.

Technology managers appear to associate private cloud computing primarily with efficiency, by contrast, as improved ability to pool IT resources was the top private cloud investment driver cited by survey participants. Private clouds do indeed promote server and workload consolidation through extensive use of virtualization, saving companies time, money, and valuable data center floor space.

Finally, IT execs evidently view hybrid cloud computing, appropriately enough, as a way to increase both speed and efficiency: while quick scalability was the number one inspiration for hybrid cloud purchases among executives surveyed, pooling IT resources and agility tied for number two and lower operational expenses came in a close third.

Of course, businesses won’t collect the benefits associated with any of the three major cloud deployment models if they manage their cloud-based assets as a collection of separate siloes. Selecting among the public, private, and hybrid approaches should therefore be part of a larger strategic planning process aimed at ensuring you have the tools and partner relationships you need to deploy and manage a truly integrated environment that seamlessly converges cloud and on-premises solutions.

Both the IDG Research study and a white paper describing its results are available elsewhere on this site. Also, be sure to visit the Cloud Knowledge Vault.