It often seems that so many of the issues facing businesses boil down to breakdowns in communication at one level or another (often at all kinds of levels). How many of us have worked on a project where somewhere along the line we found ourselves under the distinct impression that the left hand didn't know what the right one was doing? Or one where no one seemed to have any idea what anyone was doing? Or why?
People tend to forget that the driving force behind the IT revolution was information and finding better ways to communicate it. The struggle was about finding more efficient and faster ways to transfer data between parties and to deliver it in ways that was useful to the recipient. A database that needs to be scrubbed repeatedly isn't much use to most of us, no matter how comprehensive the data is or how fast it was built.
These are very low-level issues, ones that do not necessarily require technology to resolve, but are certainly ones that IT excels at resolving. Clear, concise communication is the corner stone of any successful project (and can even save ones that are teetering on the edge), yet all too often a handful of emails fired off at random intervals and a hastily organized meeting pass as project strategy.
The tools on offer to improve communication are varied, and many provide a degree of overlap in service. But a little overlap is a good thing. Personal preference plays a role so there's no sense in running the risk of leaving staff out of the loop by forcing everyone to use a single tool. It won't be the appropriate tool for someone and they'll end up not getting the information that they need in time because of it.
In a larger sense, how informed is your IT department about the broader company strategies and plans on the horizon? A responsive, informed IT team is looking ahead, laying the foundations for the strategies your company aims to implement, so that when the time arrives they can focus on the details while other departments focus on their roles, rather than wasting time trying to fumble through operational roadblocks and technical breakdowns.
IT certainly can't make people communicate more. If you aren't letting your staff know what's going on, it doesn't matter what tools the IT department has put at your disposal. But a roject should never break down because of a lack of appropriate tools for communication. There are far too many, and they can be far too effective for this to be the case.