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Embracing Microsoft Intune Group Policy Analytics for a Seamless Transition to the Cloud

In today's swiftly evolving world of IT, companies are making rapid strides towards embracing cloud technologies. This progression often dovetails with the modernisation of their End-User Computing (EUC) infrastructure to align with contemporary workplace models.

For those opting for Microsoft and Intune as their EUC tools, the migration of group policies and settings from on-premises Active Directory to the cloud is often a stumbling block. This particular facet tends to be a challenge for IT administrators seeking a seamless transition of on-premises components to the cloud. However, there's a solution at hand and it goes by the name of GPO Analytics.

Unveiling GPO Analytics

GPO Analytics is a tool within Microsoft Intune that presents a range of capabilities:

  • It scrutinises your on-premises Group Policy Objects (GPOs).

  • It showcases settings that find support among cloud-based Mobile Device Management (MDM) providers, including Microsoft Intune.

  • It highlights any settings that are deprecated or unavailable.

  • It facilitates the migration of your imported GPOs to a settings catalogue policy that can be deployed to your devices.

GPOs vs. Mobile Device Management: A Comparative Overview

Migrating GPOs to a mobile device management solution, like Intune, brings forth certain advantages. Here's a succinct comparison:

The Three Phases of GPO Migration with GPO Analytics

  1. Discover: In this initial phase, initiate discussions with internal teams responsible for device management policies. Collate all the existing policies (GPOs) within your environment.

  2. Assess: Identify the usage and targets of each policy. Classify policies based on type or purpose, such as security and compliance, device configuration and defaults. Ascertain policy ownership and lifecycle, documenting the process for maintaining and evaluating policy success.

  3. Migrate: While fresh policies are recommended to begin directly from Intune, for existing GPOs, the Group Policy Analytics tool steps in. Once you confirm the migration of existing GPOs to Intune, make effective use of the Group Policy Analytics feature accessible from the Intune Portal.

The migration of GPOs, given its historical roots tracing back to Server 2000, is a complex journey. The introduction of GPO Analytics in Microsoft Intune signifies an endeavour to modernise this migration for present-day workplaces. For a deeper understanding, you can explore the details of Microsoft's public preview feature here: Link

Venture 1 has been extending assistance to clients, achieving successful Intune deployments, including GPO migration. If you're embarking on the path towards modern device management and require guidance, please don't hesitate to get in touch. We're here to provide support in your transition towards an efficient, cloud-driven IT environment.

Author: Phillip Lötter, Senior Consultant, Venture 1.

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