How do you guys organize your company software in a shared network software directory?
To put it clearly: We want to minimize search time and help prevent support people from asking "where is this software?"
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I would only add this to what akseli said:
It may depend on how many software packages you have and how many vendors those packages are from.
We use a structure
If you have many vendors where there are between 2 and 5 packages from each, using the following structure may make each folder more easily scannable
For instance, if you use Cisco for your VPN clients and Softphone, use the following structure:
While for Microsoft products you can leave them at the root of the software directory:
This logic may also be applied to departments. If there are only a few departments or there is minimal software variation between the departments, using department directories may be unnecessary and may add to search time. If there is a wide variation between the software loads per department (for instance, engineering and accounting), having separate directories would be useful. A third option would be to have all the software in a single directory (no department directories) and then create department software list documents in the root of the software drive as references.
The goal is to strike the happy medium between too long a list of folders and too many folders with single directories inside.
I would make the folder structure departamental.
That is, inside the main Software shared location, you have a folder for Accounting, Sales, Merchandising, Customer Support, etc.
This way, anyone can easily find the software that they're supposed to be using.
To avoid doubling-up and using up unnecessary space, you can create a "General" folder in which you place software that's used globally, and then simply create shortcuts to the location inside each of the department folders.
If this doesn't work for you, another great way would be to create "task-based" folders, but here you run into problems when it comes to figuring out which tasks fit in which folders, and you can easily end up with a folder for each application :-)