Information has been considered by many the most important production factor for the modern organization. It is through the effective use of information that the other resources can be effectivelly used. Yet, managing information is a major challenge for any complex organization. The so-called Management Information Systems usually include information that is usually needed to organize and control of internal organizational processes. However, most important decisions that are made by top managers require the use of extensive amounts of data and information about segments of the external environment.
The importance of the external environment as a source of information has long been recognized by organizational theorists and researchers. Based on this premisse, one can argue that the functioning of a system which effectivelly promotes the acquisition, organization and use of information about the external environment will probally lead to better decisions which will, in turn, enhance the organization's ability to survive and thrive in competitive markets.