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Moving to a New Intranet is a Lot Like Moving to a New House

Posted by: Ryan Keller on May 2, 2024

As I write this, I’m in the middle of packing up my house to move. If you’ve moved before, you know what a stressful process it is. But with some preparation and planning you can reduce your stress level a bit. As I was packing a box one evening, I started thinking about how moving to a new intranet in Microsoft 365 is a lot like moving to a new house. (I guess I’m nerdy like that.)

The more I thought about it, the more the analogy made sense. A lot of people are perfectly happy and comfortable in their current houses, much like they’re comfortable in their current company intranet. Everything has a place, everything is familiar. Hopefully you’ve also kept up with your home (and intranet) maintenance! But after a while, maybe you start realizing you want a little more room, or maybe something a little more modern. Perhaps things have become cluttered, or they just aren’t working for your current needs anymore. So you decide to move to something new – to a new house, or to Microsoft 365! It’s modern, gives you lots of room for storage, and has lots of conveniences that will grow with you. But there is still a lot to do to get ready to move! Let’s see how these two big undertakings are similar.

Planning, Preparation, & Packing

Moving to a new house or to a new intranet requires a lot of planning and preparation to ensure a smooth transition. As we’ve been preparing to sell our house, we’ve been going through a lot of our belongings and deciding what we might not need anymore and have decided to sell a lot and donate a lot of stuff. Similarly, you might start the process of moving to a new intranet by taking inventory of your content and deciding how much of your old content really needs to move with you. You might be surprised how much clutter and content you’ve accumulated over the years! (I sure was when we went through our storage closet!) Do I really need that box of random paper that hasn’t been opened in years? Probably not. Do you really need that document library of content from 2009? Unless you’re bound by record-keeping laws, probably not! Reviewing and organizing your existing content is an important step of the process, identifying what to keep and what to archive, and what can be retired.

Packing and Moving

Once your content is all sorted and prepped, it’s time to begin packing and moving! Packing up a house takes a lot of time and energy, and a lot of boxes! Fortunately, the packing part of moving to a new intranet is much less physically demanding than packing a house! Once you’ve decided what to migrate to the new intranet, you have a few options. Just as you might use a moving company to transport your belongings, there are migration tools available for moving content to Microsoft 365. These tools help streamline the migration process and ensure that your content is transferred safely and efficiently. Or you can take the do it yourself approach and manually move the content, though this can be more time consuming.

Then you’ll begin to plan how your belongings might fit into your new space. Where will the couch go in your new house? Where will these forms and documents reside? Does it make sense to keep the same layout for some of our stuff or should we use the move to shake things up and make a more logical arrangement of everything? It’s an exciting time to begin figuring out where everything will go in the new place, and a great chance to evaluate your current and future needs for where everything should be stored, structured, and laid out. While unpacking all your moving boxes and finding a place for everything is a tedious task, it can also be a bit of a challenge to migrate all your old content to its new home in a logical and organized way. But you’ll be thankful for your efforts later when your new intranet is a clean, organized, and efficient place for finding information easily.


Credit: Nina Garman,, via Pixabay

Exploring the New Environment & Adjustment Period

Moving to a new house involves getting familiar with your new surroundings. If you end up moving to a new neighborhood or city, you’ll probably do some research on where to find different amenities, like finding the nearest grocery store, library, or parks. Similarly, moving to Microsoft 365 means exploring its features and tools, such as SharePoint for presenting information and document management or Teams for collaboration. After moving, there's an adjustment period to settle in and get accustomed to the new space. Things won’t be exactly the same as they were before, but that’s not always a bad thing. With Microsoft 365, there might be a learning curve as well, as users adapt to new tools and ways of working and have to find their way around a new intranet. It’ll take some time to get used to working in this new digital environment, but after a little bit of time it’ll feel like home.

Customization and Personalization

One of the exciting aspects of moving to a new house is being able to make it yours! You’ll put up decorations, maybe paint some rooms, and get new furniture to fill the home. Just as you personalize your new house with decorations and furniture, Microsoft 365 allows customization to suit your organization's needs, such as creating custom SharePoint themes, using company images, and Teams channels that meet your needs. Branding the new intranet with familiar company branding is a great way to make the new intranet feel more familiar to users, as it will already contain colors and imagery that they’re familiar with. Users will settle into the new intranet, just like you’ll settle into your new home, and develop new routines and discover new ways of organizing their content.

Community and Support

Moving to a new neighborhood or city often means finding new communities or groups to join, like social clubs, churches, or even neighborhood get-togethers. Getting to know your new community can quickly help a new place feel more like home and gives you a network of friends to call on if you need help. Similarly, with Microsoft 365, you have access to a community of users and support resources, such as forums and documentation, to help you make the most of the platform! Lots of people use Microsoft 365 every day, and there are a lot of great resources. In addition, you’ll be able to set up your own organizational communities using features like Viva Engage (formerly known as Yammer) so your co-workers and others in your organization can foster a sense of community and engagement, just like you might have in a neighborhood.

Whew, moving is a lot of work, whether it’s to a new house or to a new intranet. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to mitigate the headaches that come with each step of the process. While Pait Group probably can’t help you move to a new house (unless you bribe us with pizza), we can certainly help you with moving your old intranet to Microsoft 365! We can be the movers, designers, tour guides, and support you need to give your organization a fresh start in a new, modern digital environment! So get in touch with us today, and we’ll get you moved to a new intranet in no time!

Topics: Intranet, Migration, Modern SharePoint

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