How to Migrate from GPO to Intune?

Just like there is a rulebook for every school that helps the principal control a large number of students and teachers, Group Policy Objects (GPO) and Microsoft Intune work in the same manner.

They provide settings and features that help you control all the devices in an organization or network. Both GPO and Intune have their own features, however with the changing work landscapes and increasing need to enhance security and compliance, businesses are migrating to Intune.

So, if you are also looking forward to how to go about it, then you’re at the right place. In this comprehensive guide, we will take you through all the measures step-by-step you will need for the migration.

What Is GPO?

Group Policy Objects (GPO) allow administrators to manage the settings of the digital devices of an organization. GPO manages the on-premises devices — It features different settings that are used to control things like strong password policies, configure software installations, restrict access to certain folders, and even control the look and feel of the desktop.

What Is Microsoft Intune?

Microsoft Intune is a cloud-based tool to manage all the devices in a network. It can manage a broader range of devices across various platforms. It includes desktops, laptops, mobile phones, and even tablets running Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, and even Linux. This allows businesses to manage devices from anywhere. So, Intune makes it easier and safer for companies to manage their devices, no matter where the employees are working.

Benefits of Migrating From GPO to Intune

As both GPO and Intune allow you to manage the devices in a network, both have their own features that make them suitable for different needs. However, Intune offers more enhanced features that help organizations modernize their IT infrastructure, streamline management, and enhance security and compliance. This makes the organizations migrate from GPO to Intune for better management.

Other benefits include:

  • Cloud-Based Management: With the evolving workspaces, remote work is getting popular these days. So, it becomes difficult for organizations to track their devices. Intune allows administrators to manage the settings from anywhere and for anyone working from any place other than the office itself.
  • Flexibility: Unlike GPOs, Intune is not restricted to only Windows. It can manage a wide range of devices which includes mobile phones, tablets, and even non-windows desktops.
  • Security: Intune integrates Azure Active Directory which adds one more layer to the security. It also has add-on features including remote help, endpoint privilege management, and more.
  • Always Up-To-Date: Intune automatically applies the settings to the devices which ensures the devices are always up-to-date and have the latest policies.

Challenges in Migrating from GPO to Microsoft Intune

Migrating from GPO to Intune is a lot like moving from one place to another. So, this requires planning as well as careful consideration because challenges are bound to happen.

Some of the challenges are:

  • Some GPO settings are not compatible with the Intune settings due to which those cannot be migrated. These will require additional or alternative methods for the migration process.
  • Some GPOs may not have settings that can be translated to MDM settings. This you will know when it shows the ‘No under MDM support’ message.
  • A single GPO cannot be larger than 4MB. If there are any then the import will fail.

Prerequisites for GPO to Microsoft Intune

All the settings of the current GPO can not be easily migrated to Intune. For this, the settings have to be assessed for their compatibility with the Intune. To do this, Group Policy Analytics (GPA) is used. It is a tool that analyzes and identifies which settings can be migrated to Intune.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Export a GPO as an XML file.
  2. In the Microsoft Intune admin center, Import your XML file. (Make sure your single GPO file is not larger than 4MB.)
  3. Select the Scope tags, you want to apply, otherwise the default scope tag is automatically used.
  4. Then click Create. This will generate a report that highlights the compatibility percentage of each setting in GPO that is the same in Intune. This will be indicated by MDM Support.
  5. To check the report, click on reports and then select Group Policy Analytics.
  6. You will find the summary of the report under the summary tab. This will determine which policies are ready for migration and which are not supported by Intune for migration.

Process/ Steps for Migrating to Microsoft Intune from GPO

Now that you have assessed your current GPO, let’s start the process of migration. For the settings that GPA has identified as compatible, create a Settings Catalog policy in Intune.

  1. Click on Devices > Group Policy analytics
  2. Now, select the GPOs you want to migrate and click on ‘Migrate’ checkbox
  3. Select the migrate column under the settings to migrate tab. Here, you can see the settings you want to include in your Settings Catalog Profile. You can select all the settings that are shown on the page for your profile or only select those you want for your profile. Click on Next.
  4. Enter the name for your setting catalog profile and the description under the profile info.
  5. Assign the scope tag to filter the profile to specific IT groups within your network. (optional)
  6. Now, select the user or the group that will receive your profile in the assignments option.
  7. You can review your settings in the ‘review + deploy’ button.
  8. Click on Create. Your profile will be saved and assigned.
  9. In configuration, you can see your settings and their values.

Apps4Rent: One-Stop Solution for GPO to Intune Migration

Migrating from GPO to Intune helps you manage devices effectively in a cloud-based world. While some settings might require alternative methods, a well-planned migration ensures a smooth transition. If you are considering a move to Intune, don’t hesitate to contact Apps4Rent.

As a Microsoft Solutions Partner, Apps4Rent specializes in different migration types, including Intune and Microsoft 365. They will help you navigate the whole process smoothly and easily. Apps4Rent guarantees a seamless transition with 24/7/365 support from certified engineers, providing technical assistance and post-migration support.

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