Disintermediation

the process of removing layers in the distribution channel—for example, the Internet has caused disintermediation between airlines and passengers by allowing tickets to be purchased more easily directly from the airline rather than through a travel agent. Disintermediation is also a standard aspect of a maturing technology; as consumers become more familiar with the technology and it becomes easier to use, they are less likely to want to buy the technology from consultants and VARs.

Thus, for example, in the 60s through the 80s most computers were purchased through specialist vendors (i.e., intermediaries) who offered considerable support; in the 90s vendors such as Dell and Gateway became significant intermediaries, offering mail and later internet ordering with very little support; today most computers are purchased with nearly no technical sales support. Disruptive technology often takes the form of technology that supports disintermediation.