\u201cCloud first is our mantra,\u201d says Peter Yates, head of operations and platform delivery at Spark Ventures,which delivers digital services through businesses that include Bigpipe and Lightbox.\nSpark Ventures applied this perspective as they revamped their IT service management system. They identified the need to achieve speed and agility as they operate in fast evolving markets.\n\u201cThe main challenge was we did not have an IT service management solution across all our ventures,\u201d says Yates.\n\u201cWe could not get good reporting out of the existing system and could not escalate tickets as well,\u201d he states. \u201cThe incidents were tracked by email. It was very time consuming.\u201d\n\u201cWe wanted cloud first wherever we could, and that led me to look at ITSM solutions.\u201d\nRelated:CIO to COO: Lessons from the cloud \nPeter Yates at Spark Ventures discusses how his experiences in consumption based IT services can be transposed to his new domain \u2013 operations.\nIn September last year, Spark Ventures implemented BMC RemedyForce, a cloud based product built on Salesforce.com\u2019s platform.\nSpark Ventures was already using Salesforce, making the integration between the two systems very simple, says Yates.\nRemedy Force met 90 per cent of their requirements \u201cout of the box\u201d and needed very little customisation, he states.\nGet good user cases for your business to test in advance Peter Yates, Spark Ventures\nSpeed was one of the benefits as automation helps the team resolve issues and implement changes in hours instead of days. The reports are also automatically emailed to business owners. As well, the detailed reports empower the support teams to set relevant response SLAs, with 98 per cent compliance in a recent month.\n"Operational staff were freed to work on other business priorities," says Yates.\nHis key advice for enterprises checking out cloud based ITSM? \u201cMake sure you understand your requirements.\u201d\n\u201cGet good user cases for your business to test in advance,\u201d he adds. \u201cIt makes a big difference to go through all these steps to ensure you test how you will use the tool, and make sure it addresses your requirements.\u201d\nHe says he spoke to customer references prior to the implementation, which was completed in six weeks. These companies were also \u201cin the same boat\u201d using Salesforce and combining these with manual processes.\n\u201cIt takes time upfront but the benefits are worth it.\u201d\nSend news tips and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org\nFollow Divina Paredes on Twitter: @divinap\nFollow CIO New Zealand on Twitter:@cio_nz\nSign up for CIO newsletters for regular updates on CIO news, views and events.\nJoin us on Facebook.