The laws of social inertia make it unlikely that any but the most conscientious techies will deliberately seek out and befriend their end users. so if you seat them in their midst, you definitely up the odds. And you get the added benefit that "normal people" get to see that they have a lot more in common with techies than they had been led to believe.
One thing i thought about yesterday is how the US armed services are organized and how such an organizational system might benefit corporate IT. It turns out that the three service departments (Army, Navy, and Air Force) have no operational control over troops, planes, and ships in the field as they once did; rather, the units stationed in a particular part of the world report to the head of the command responsible for it (and all of them report directly to the Secretary of Defense). Instead the general staffs of each service advise the President and Secretary of Defense on strategy and tactics (the JCS is effectively a military think tank), while the departments focus on recruiting, training, and equipping their people (and remain responsible for promotions).
So imagine, if you will, a corporate IT department responsible for recruiting and training people to support the company's operations, advising senior management on technical issues, procuring and/or developing hardware and software for the company's use, managing the central network and the corporate website, setting general computing policies, and supplying the other departments with the people and equipment they need to manage their own computer operations; *but*, the people so assigned would be paid out of the "client" department's budget and would function as employees of that department until/unless reassigned. This would make all managers responsble for directing the computer operations for their own groups (with the appropriate professional advice from the IT staff assigned to them), thus giving them the ability to insure that those operations are adapted to local needs and making the computing staff they are assigned responsible directly to them, instead of to IT (helping to give the local manager's priorities the proper weight). And at the same time, IT would be still in a position to coordinate and set general computing policy and avoid needless duplication of resources (and assigned personnel could mediate between their bosses and the central IT department).