This happens all the time in my company. The CEO tends to try to mitigate this, but the CTO will cheerfully commit us all to a given product or service because it's shiny and/or “newer” than what we use. (“So this Vista thing comes out in a month. It’s pretty good; don’t believe what you read on the internet about it. I trust the migration is already planned?”)
Even better is that “IT” in our company is fantastically dispersed. Our CEO is allergic to the idea of a hierarchical structure of any kind, and so while “IT Infrastructure” (our three-man IT department) is very roughly hierarchical, customer support, development and production-facing IT are all their own one-man units. Each of these units essentially don’t communicate with each other unless they absolutely have to, and everyone makes piles of assumptions about how anything is, should be or could be set up. The CTO is also essentially disconnected from everyone else, and that brings even more fun.
Everyone of course has a different idea about how the communications problems should be resolved, and that’s when you can get them to admit there are such problems. Some individuals favour a technological approach: this has alternated between trying wikis, forums, public folders in Outlook, you name it. It falls apart because there’s zero incentive for anyone to use it. Others believe that we just need to call a meeting for every little problem, and hash out everything face to face. The kind of time it takes to do so, and the scheduling problems are of course irrelevant.
My personal vote is for something more structured and hierarchical: regularly scheduled meetings to keep the various arms of IT on track, or better yet a piece of wetware at the top of the stack whose job it is to make sure that various jobs are being dealt with properly. Some way must be found to make people want to cooperate, or they simply never will.
This gets to be quite miserable when those aforementioned predatory vendors swoop in, promise you the moon on a stick for $24.99, but neglect to mention that if you want their product/solution/service to work then you are going to have to rip up half your infrastructure and replace it with theirs/their partners. This of course will be committed to, money paid, and an “oh by the way we are doing this in this timeframe” e-mail filters out to everyone three days before the due date.
If/when anything goes wrong with either implementation, cost overruns, miscommunication, or even externally-caused errors such as DDOSes or the fibre being cut it all lands on my head. I can honestly say that the only reason I can keep anything running is because I very regularly overstep my authority to get things done. “It is better to beg forgiveness than to ask permission.” I realise that this only increases the division between the various groups, but if anything is ever going to get accomplished there doesn’t seem to be any other choice.
A/C because while my coworkers would know it was me in a heartbeat, there’s no reason to tell our competitors about our internal problems.