Ahead of what is expected to be a watershed year in information technology, CSC recently released its top five enterprise IT trends for 2016.

The trends recognize the enormous potential that comes with digitization – and the fact that corporate leaders have significant opportunities to deploy next-generation technology across the enterprise to drive change, growth and value for all stakeholders.

“From the boardroom to the C-suite, there’s greater recognition that strategically investing in innovation and transforming IT can improve customer experiences, heighten productivity and efficiency, safeguard infrastructure and brand, and ensure a competitive edge,” said Dan Hushon, CSC’s chief technology officer. “There is a dramatic shift in the way organizations are using digital platforms to do business, and CSC is excited to help our clients succeed on their digital transformation journey.”

CSC’s top five IT trends will make 2016 the “Year of Contextualized Information,” with more open, information-driven organizations modernizing their platforms and applications, while simultaneously addressing risk and security requirements.

1) Contextual data drives value

Building on the growth of information generated by digital engagement platforms and data supplied by “Internet of Things” (IoT) devices, contextualized analytics will be a prevailing force in 2016. This contextualized information enhances enterprise data with meta-data such as device, location, language and social network. Influencers help enterprises develop better insights, personalize products or services, or even suggest specific actions. Richer context will allow enterprises to create a more integrated and valuable information experience for clients, employees, partners and citizens.

2) As context increases, cyber targets increase

As data becomes more contextually rich, it becomes more valuable to the enterprise — and to cybercriminals as well. The growing risk of attack will require next-generation techniques for network defense, identity access management, risk management and now information management. Public clouds will play a role in the integration of contextual data, and these will need to be included in security system architectures. Context-rich environments will force enterprises to give significant thought to acceptable risk levels and controls as they share a growing range of information with key stakeholders.

3) The API economy is strong

Enterprises have discovered the power of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and will continue to build on them. APIs enable information access and exchange between systems, often acting as a wrapper around older systems. This enables organizations to combine data from legacy applications and new applications. APIs are more than a development tool; they create new channels for service integration, information coordination and ecosystems of information sharing. The core of a digital strategy depends on democratizing information access, and APIs play a central role in that process. They are key to developing a business strategy for innovation and providing contextual information.

4) CIOs partner to bring information into context

The CIO will increasingly ensure that enterprise controls and governance are in place to manage information. Where in the past CIOs have been more focused on the “T” in “IT,” they will now be more focused on the “I,” partnering closely with the business to drive digital transformation through better information. This partnership or business relationship management (BRM) will help the organization gain access to the right information and technology to make better decisions and introduce competitive products, quickly and at scale.

5) Enterprise platform players continue to converge

Another trend is the ongoing consolidation of enterprise IT infrastructure players. This consolidation answers the market’s demand for more standard, agile and integrated solutions out of the box, such as converged infrastructure. Look for greater specialization of infrastructure platforms in future products and services.

About CSC

CSC (NYSE: CSC) leads clients on their digital transformation journeys. The company provides innovative next-generation technology services and solutions that leverage deep industry expertise, global scale, technology independence and an extensive partner community. CSC serves leading commercial and international public sector organizations throughout the world. CSC is a Fortune 500 company and ranked among the best corporate citizens.