Despite this, far too many IoT vendors make proposals that require enterprise officials to be responsible for doing the coordination work needed to bring all aspects of an IoT solution together, Lutostanski said. As an example, he offered a theoretical comparison in the clothing industry.

“Let’s say you want to buy a nice wool suit,” Lutostanski said. “[The salesman] comes out from the back with a suit, you put it on … and you realize that the suit has no arms [sleeves]. You ask the obvious question, ‘What gives? There are no arms.’

“The salesman goes, ‘That’s not a problem. I know this guy who’s got some sheep. If you go to this sheep farmer and he gives you some wool, you can have it spun into some cloth, take it down to the cutter, have him stitch it together, and—voila—you have a new suit.

“Obviously, people don’t buy suits like that. People don’t buy IT like that, either. People need somebody to put this together.”

What enterprises need are IoT vendors that have predefined alignments with partners to provide end-to-end solutions long-term support capabilities and financial stability, Lutostanski said.

“In this case, a solution provider is somebody that not only makes sure that there are arms on the suit—that it’s complete—but he’s got a staff of people that are ready to customize that suit for the particular customer when they come to the door,” he said.

“Without an IoT solution provider, IoT is too risky to consider, for most.”

With this in mind, Avnet—a Fortune 500 company—is delivering IoT solutions with technology partners like AT&T, Intel and Microsoft, Lutostanski said. Such companies have the expertise and resources to ensure that their portions of a solution will work long term, he said.

“All of the stuff that you’ve invested in requires constant maintenance and supervision over the life of the program,” Lutostanski said. “If you don’t do that, it’s going to work great for a few days, and then you’re going to go back and be in a situation where it doesn’t work.

“You’ve got that infrastructure, you need to take care of it, and you need to do so over a long period of time. That’s another area of risk … There’s a lot of small solution providers out there that tare worth less money than the entire job that they’re quoting for any particular customer. I think you’ve got to go with a solution provider that can provide a long-lasting solution and you can have confidence that they’re going to be there for a long period of time—they can scale, they’re global, and they’ve got financial resources.”

It is important that all IoT companies—big or small—recognize their best role in the IoT-solution ecosystem, so it is easier for enterprises to adopt the promising technology, Lutostanski said.

“My hope is that companies involved in IoT figure out where they are in the IoT solution-provider infrastructure and either become solution providers themselves or develop very, very close relations to be able to deliver seamless solutions to future customers,” he said.