The term “disruptive technology” refers to a new and radically different innovation that eventually overturns the existing dominant technology in a given market. One can argue that the Internet is, or at least has the potential to be, a disruptive technology.

And, for me, professionally and personally, perhaps it has been — I use the Internet for everything from finding new interview sources and staying in touch with friends and colleagues, to booking travel and keeping up on the latest business trends and current events.

For building service contractors, the Internet’s impact is a little less clear. Surely, most BSCs use e-mail, and have at least a basic Web site. But beyond that? The contractors we spoke with for this month’s cover story were a little more more divided. Contractors on the cutting edge use the Internet to get almost immediate answers to pressing questions in the middle of the night. They offer real-time customer feedback portals on their Web sites. They order supplies from their distributors without leaving their computers.

But, in many cases, the Internet has been used alongside the old standbys such as phone, fax and in-person conventions and sales calls; it has not replaced them. Do you think it will? Stop by our booth (#003) at this year’s Building Service Contractors Association International show and let us know what you think.

Stacie H. Whitacre, Editor