Perhaps he had Formula 1 racing on his mind during the CIO Summit in Montreal, but one CIO compared the hybrid cloud to using multiple modes of transportation. For instance, throughout the year, we may drive our own car, rent a car or take a taxi. The key is choosing the appropriate, convenient and flexible option based on our unique needs.At EMC, we built a state-of-the-art private cloud to run our business. However, as we strive to provide our users with more elastic, on-demand and contemporary IT services, we must look beyond the private cloud. Of course, as you know, this raises many questions. Here are just a few on my mind:Functionality: What application and data is the user accessing through the cloud?If it is consumer-based information, it can live on an external cloud. For instance, our users are on Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media daily. However, if the application manages mission critical information like engineering designs, or accesses regulated healthcare, banking or financial information, we want more robust governance and greater service level agreements than the public cloud offers today.Trust: Is the application safe for proprietary information or intellectual property?Whether it is an internal or external application, we must partner early on with our Chief Information Security Officers to assess the sensitivity of information the app is accessing; its potential vulnerabilities; its compliance and governance requirements; and its need for elasticity. This will help us determine if we use private, hybrid or public cloud.Cost: How is the application going to consume IT? Not only do we need to know who will use it, where the data will live and whether it will be accessible via mobile devices, but we need to have a clear picture of its cost and software development lifecycle. This enables us to build for the users’ requirements and provide the flexibility and scalability we need for the future.The bottom line is we need to provide the contemporary IT applications and appropriate access our users need to be productive, while ensuring we minimize risk to our business and intellectual property. At EMC, we recently introduced a hybrid version of Syncplicity, which provides public cloud convenience and experience while leveraging our on-premise infrastructure. As a result, more than 36,000 employees have embraced and are using the tool to easily (and happily) sync and share files with colleagues.What questions are you asking with regard to the hybrid and public cloud?