So first the, the data that I will share with you as part of this short presentation has been collected as part of an academic project. So it is statistically robust. It has been very by the statistical test. So this is not just yet another online survey. The data is representative of international organization in three or five countries. So I think it is, it has a nice representativeness, but it is biased towards large organizations. So the statements that I will do here are probably more significant for large multinational organizations than they are for little or middle sized organizations.
So one of the first topic that I surveyed I am professionals on was this research was on priority goals for IM I am as very broad scope of value propositions or possible goals that it may pursue for an organization. And among those, there is a question of what's the priority. And here, this graph shows the, the priority orders of IM goals. The list of IM goals here have been collected and compiled from a review of the IM li to, without surprise, we see that cybersecurity or protection from cyber threats is the top priority for I am within organizations then comes compliance, then announcing the productivity or of the organization and so on and so forth. This was very, not very much surprising. There is no big surprise. I think in those priorities here where this data may be of some interest to our audience, especially to people in an advisory services or to people that are working as IM managers within our organization, is that you can compare your priorities with those average priorities and see if you have a distinct priorities. Then why one question that my research did not answer is whether those priorities are aligned with stop management, because this is here really the view of IM professionals on their priorities. And it will be very interesting to compare this with the, the perceived priorities of IM professionals with the, the real or desired priorities of top management.
Another topic that I questioned was I am a governance structure. And the basic question here was to whom does the IM manager directly reports to within the organization. And well, I hear the answer was without surprise as well. Most of us IM managers directly report to the CIO. So that's half of us. So to the CIO, COO etcetera, the overlapping areas on this chart show situations where the IM manager has multiple reporting lines. So this as well was not very much of a surprise, but now the, the interesting question is to put together goal priorities with governance of IM and to ask ourselves if there is a statistical association between the two, does, do we have a different IM if it reports to the C O or to the C and so on? And the short answer is yes, there is a statistical, a strong statistical association between governance and priority of IM goals, which means that well, what the, the research here does not answer is which causes the other, because causation is very hard to demonstrate, but here, what we demonstrate is a strong association. And, but what this tells us is that if your, if, if you are clear about your IM priorities, as they are defined by top management within the organization, then you should see IM governance as a parameter that you should adapt in such a way that the IM function within the organization would be optimally aligned with the, the, the top management priorities.
Another area that I researched was the capability maturity of the IM processes. So here we see the self assessed maturity of I am engineer and of the, the IM SubD domains workforce. I am Palm or time and so on and so forth. This was not surprising at all. We see workforce, I am as the most mature process in the organization. And this was, I think, an obvious result. What this may be interesting is to ask ourselves from this data, whether it reflects just a story or whether this reflects our intentional strategy for IM did we invest all our efforts in workforce I am and less so in customer IM or does it just reflect the fact that historically in the E in the IM industry, things were more mature originally in the workforce in workforce IM and then we, we, we progressively moved along the way.
Now taking this idea of maturity, it was interesting to ask ourselves if the maturity of the IM processes is different across various vertical industries. And sometimes there are some statistical valid results here, especially the best example is cloud service providers, cloud service providers is now demonstrated here. They do have much more mature Palm and third party or partner IM than other industries. And this makes a lot of sense. Of course, that's kind of stating the obvious because BA and third party I am for CSPs is their core business. So that, that really makes sense. But then one of the I disease that I had posed before the research was that in financial services where I've done most of my career, we were better than the others. I've. I had this feeling that we were doing a great job in IM and I was completely wrong. There is no statistical evidence that shows an association between an organization being in the financial services and having more mature IM processes than other organizations. And this, this is a very nice lesson because it, it teaches me humility. And then now I will be more keen on listening to my peers in other industry radicals. And I've certainly a lot of things to learn from them.
One dimension that I studied on the IM function was centralization here. The, the hypothesis was that if you would strongly centralize the IM function within the organization, you could pull resources together and you could more efficiently standardize your IM processes. And consequently, my I hypothesis was that you would reach higher capability maturity levels, and I was completely wrong as well here. In fact, the degree of centralization is I 11 regarding the degree of maturity and to conduct the study, I distinguished three profiles of organization between highly centralized hybrid and decentralized organizations where the IM function is spread across multiple entities and so on and so forth. And this is really just irrelevant. Statistically speaking, this is an irrelevant dimension.
Another dimension that I investigated was specialization of IM in an organization. We may have an organization that is highly specialized. So here this, the hypothesis is that we will have experts. And my origin hypothesis was this experts would bring the IM processes to hi maturity levels. And then we have a balanced organization profile. And on the left here, we see a profile of organization where the IM workers are more fully Valent. These are shared resources, and people may do IM tasks, but also other tasks related to other processes within the org organization here, the, the result was more surprising. The answer first is yes, specialization in IM brings higher maturity levels or is sorry is positively associated with higher levels. And this is true for customer I am. And third, but for, for Parma, this is a little bit different. If I'm speaking as a statistician, I should say, I dunno, because it was, the result was not statistically significant.
So I can't look at you right in the eyes and tell you, yes, specialization in bam is associated with I maturity. But if I put my IM manager hat on the head, then I would say, yes, it is why because the, the statistical result was so close to being so statistically significant that I don't care about the difference and in practice, in my own practice, if I would speak with my management and so on and so forth. And I would, of course take it for granted that specialization is the way to go for Palm, but then we let's speak about workforce. I am. And for workforce, I am here, the, the result was surprising. We have here two winning strategies and one losing strategy. And this is curious. You may have higher cap maturity levels. If you have a specialized IM functions, that's clear, and this is actually the, the best strategy. If you want to focus on reaching higher maturity levels, but you may also reach higher maturity levels. If you have highly poly balanced people. And this is the second strategy, but if these are incompatible strategy and the, the losing strategy is the balanced strategy. If your IM is needed specialized nor Vale, then this is the situation where organizations tend to have the lowest maturity level.
Okay. Check time should be okay. So another interesting perspective on the IM function is how do we measure the performance of the IM function within the organization, and what does it bring to the organization to, to, to measure IM within the organization? So first, what this graph shows is on the horizontal access. We have the material level of, I am within the organization and on the vertical access, the degree to which the organization is compliant with, I would say measurement or performance measurement, good practices, or best practices. And these are very strongly associated as can be seen from the, from the graph here. The interesting aspect of this, what this tells us is that the more, the higher you, you climb the, the, the maturity scale, the, the better you, you measure performance and the better you measure IM in the organization, which creates a virtuous cycle and a, a positive feedback loop.
If we look into this a little bit more in details, we can split performance indicators in broad categories, we call, we call this placement where we can distinguish lagging indicators that are indicators that will show you what happened in the past. And that may enable you as a manager to react to past event and leading indicators that tend to show you coming trends, or, and to allow you to anticipate future events. And there is also a strong association, a statistical association between maturity level and using leading indicators on IM. And again, this is a virtual cycle or positive feedback loop, because this gives you an edge. The more you climb that maturity scale, the more you are forward looking, the better you take managerial decisions in relation to I am same for performance measurement coverage. The, the, the more you mature, your processes, your am processes, the, the larger, or the broader you cover IM with your performance indicators, which gives you a better insight or of what's happening.
Finally on indicators, there is this question of automation. We spend a lot time preparing dashboards for our management, and this is a big topic in large organizations. First, the true of the story is that today I am professionals fight with spreadsheets a lot still. They, they, most of us don't have fancy dashboards that are fully automated and great for, with realtime data and so on and so forth. The, the truth of the matter is that we, we spend still a lot of time in Excel doing some automated process, and we tend to progressively. Now we are probably a little bit lagging behind, but we are now as an industry coming to that analytics. But, but a little bit slowly what's clear is that the more mature processes, the more automation you have in your measurement mechanism and this reduce cost, of course, but you saw this increased, increased the accuracy of your data, which brings you less Aho, less data in your, in your statistics when you are measuring DM function within your organization, which makes the data more reliable engineer.
And finally, I questioned, I am professionals on whether they benchmark the governments, measurements with Spears, and the answer is largely no most IM functions within organization. Most I am professionals and I am managers do not benchmark what they're doing with skills. A few of them do it in an way from time to time, they speaking with colleagues and so on and so forth, but, but, but not in a systematic way. And yet most I am professional would expect large benefits from standardizing IM performance indicators and sharing those four benchmarking purposes. So one of my goals would be to, with peers and colleagues as part of the open measure initiative that I launched to co-develop or crowd to develop these standard, as I am indicators, to help ization measure the IM function within, within the organization. So in conclusion, let me just in conclusion, the, the, what this showed us basically was that IM is all about PDCA. The plan do check act, you know, continuous improvement thing.
If you work on your continuous improvement for your IM processes, you may gain different benefits, benefits in terms of performance measurements, but also in terms of specialization of your workforce or, and so on and so forth. And, and the big idea here is that by implementing small, continuous improvement initiatives, you gain a little bit of effort budget. You make some economies of scale that you can re-inject into M processes and further improve the IM process O overall in your organization. So the, the big conclusion of this of this study was that the only way to go is really through continuous improvement. And yet that there is this big chicken and egg question, because you would like to reach a higher level of maturity in your organization, and to reach that level of higher level of maturity, you need those things that you will have only when you will have reached that higher level of maturity. So it is a little bit of a catch 22 situation where you are when you start with a low maturity organization initially in, in, in IM. And it is a little bit difficult to move out of this, of this situation and to enter into a Vuse cycle where you benefit from positive feedbacks from your initiatives.
So I've been just at 20 minutes. So I would be most happy if you have questions to answer questions. Otherwise I would be of course, happy to answer questions on the forum as well. I thank you very much.