Deploy SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business for Microsoft 365 Enterprise

This workload is included in both the E3 and E5 versions of Microsoft 365 Enterprise

SharePoint Online and Microsoft Teams is how you do file storage and sharing, content management, and collaboration and is a key element of the Built for Teamwork value of Microsoft 365 Enterprise.

SharePoint Online also has advanced security capabilities including access control and permissions and encryption in flight and at rest. SharePoint Online security is a key element of the Intelligent Security value of Microsoft 365 Enterprise.

If you are brand new to SharePoint Online, see SharePoint Online and Get Started with SharePoint.

The following phases and steps guide you through the process of envisioning the role of SharePoint Online in your organization, onboarding your organization through a series of progressive rollouts, and driving usage its value to your end users. Before you begin, make sure you've configured the right foundation infrastructure phases so that your SharePoint Online sites have the security capabilities you need.

To deploy OneDrive for Business for Microsoft 365 Enterprise, see the OneDrive guide for enterprises.

Phase 1: Envision

In this phase, you gather the people for your SharePoint Online deployment and determine how your organization will use them to address its business needs.

Step 1: Gather your SharePoint Online deployment members

For a successful deployment of SharePoint Online on top of the Microsoft 365 Enterprise foundation infrastructure, you need to get the right people for input and feedback. Key people include business decision makers, IT staff such as architects and implementers, and advocates for your end users.

These three groups ensure that your deployment includes considerations that address business needs, technical aspects of folder and document migration and security, and that the result will be something that typical users will use.


A list of people that represent the business, technical, and end user aspects of your organization.

Step 2: Determine and prioritize your SharePoint Online business scenarios

SharePoint Online can be used for different purposes. You need to figure out which purposes map to your business needs. You should target SharePoint Online to address the document storage and sharing, content management, and collaboration needs of your teams, your division, or your entire organization.

See the list of scenarios and capabilities at SharePoint Online.

The following business pillars can address your organization’s needs:

Share and Work Together Take advantage of team sites, collaboration sites, and sync.
Inform and Engage Information coming in the future.
Transform Uses Flow to create a store or workflow.
Harness Collective Knowledge Uses Search to give the desired results within your organization.
Protect Ensures your organization is secured and has the correct compliance.
External/Develop Lets your organization develop customize solutions and apps by using the SharePoint Framework.

See SharePoint Online admin for resources on how to configure SharePoint Online for your needs.

One way to see the benefits of SharePoint Online is to examine how individuals, a team, a division, or your entire organization interact today, and then find an appropriate scenario that provides easier ways to store and share files collaborate. Keep in mind that Microsoft Teams might be a better choice for some of your scenarios.

SharePoint Online enables these strategic business scenarios for Microsoft 365 Enterprise:

  • Communicate with your team to stay informed, solicit input, and build cohesion and consensus
  • Harness collective knowledge
  • Empower users to transform business processes
  • Shape the company culture
  • Manage projects, tasks, and deadlines to meet your business objectives
  • Engage your firstline workers to enable your Digital Transformation
  • Understand your work habits to improve your influence and impact
  • Communicate with partners, colleagues, and customers
  • Store and share files inside and outside your organization to work seamlessly across organizational boundaries
  • Work securely from anywhere, anytime across your device to achieve more while maintaining a flexible workstyle
  • Protect your information and reduce the risk of data loss
  • Support your organization with enhanced privacy and compliance to meet the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

For more information, see the Digital transformation using Microsoft 365.

SharePoint Online site for highly regulated data

Highy regulated data is subject to regional regulations or is the most valuable data for your organization, such as trade secrets, financial or human resources information, and organization strategy. You can configure a SharePoint Online site for restricted access, data classification, data loss prevention, and encryption for this type of data. For the details, see Microsoft Teams and SharePoint Online sites for highly regulated data.


A list of SharePoint Online scenarios that address your organization’s needs for document storage and sharing, content management, and collaboration.

Phase 2: Onboard

In this phase, you plan for the technical aspects of a SharePoint Online deployment and start rolling then out to selected groups of users.

Prerequisites: Identity and device access configuration

To protect access to SharePoint Online sites, ensure that you have configured identity and device access policies and the recommended SharePoint Online access policies.

Step 1: Complete your technical planning

Before you begin technical planning, determine whether you want to use FastTrack. If your organization has over 50 seats and is participating in an eligible plan, you can use FastTrack benefits, available at no additional cost to guide you through planning, deployment, and service adoption. Or, you can complete this work yourself using FastTrack Onboarding Wizards, which are available from FastTrack once you sign in with your Office 365 account.

If you are doing your own planning, or in conjunction with FastTrack, you need to determine if your network and organization are ready for SharePoint Online. It is especially important that you meet the exit criteria for networking in your foundation infrastructure, with special attention to Internet bandwidth, throughput, and traffic delays to maximize performance for the additional traffic for SharePoint Online-based documents.

Use these resources to prepare for the technical aspects of a SharePoint Online rollout:

For a better understanding of security in SharePoint Online, review the following resources:


You understand SharePoint Online sites and on-premises folder and document migration and security and are ready to begin rolling out SharePoint Online to selected groups in your organization.

Step 2: Run an IT pilot

In most medium-sized and large organizations, you should run an IT pilot with your stakeholders from Phase 1 and early adopters and technical enthusiasts. During the IT pilot:

  • Choose a SharePoint Online business scenario in which your IT pilot participants can practice.
  • Give your pilot participants a set of exercises to test SharePoint Online document storage, sharing, collaboration, team-based scheduling, and other capabilities.
  • Determine your change management strategy and produce materials to drive organization-wide user adoption of SharePoint Online. Change management materials can include email announcement text, internal training plans, hallway posters, and presentations. These materials will inform your organization about SharePoint Online and its benefits with the goals of raising awareness and driving usage. See the change management strategy for Microsoft Teams article for some ideas.
  • Have your IT pilot participants review the change management materials based on their experiences. They can provide tips on best practices and advice on how to best describe the benefits of SharePoint Online and how to use it for communication and scheduling.


Your SharePoint Online IT pilot is complete and the initial change management materials have been developed, reviewed, and refined.

Step 3: Roll out to a business group

After completing your IT pilot, roll out SharePoint Online to a business group or department in your organization. This rollout should include:

  • Identification of key business scenarios for SharePoint Online within the business group.
  • Announcement activities to inform users of the expectations and timelines for SharePoint Online usage for departments and work or project teams.
  • Migration of on-premises folders and documents of your business group members to SharePoint Online.
  • Delivering user training or links to resources to introduce SharePoint Online and how to use it. See SharePoint Online video training.
  • A feedback mechanism, such as a central Microsoft Teams team containing everyone in the business group, to collect comments and act on issues from users in the business group.

During the rollout, you can refine your change management materials in preparation for the organization-wide rollout.


A business group is up and running with SharePoint Online and the change management materials have been tested and refined.

Phase 3: Drive value

In this phase, you complete the rollout of SharePoint Online support your users to help them realize its benefits.

Step 1: Roll out to the rest of your organization

The rollout to the rest of your organization should include:

  • Identification of key business scenarios for SharePoint Online Online within separate business groups.
  • Use of your refined change management materials for announcement activities to inform your organization of the expectations and timelines for usage.
  • Migration of folders and documents for the rest of your organization to SharePoint Online.
  • Delivering user training or provide links to resources to introduce SharePoint Online and how to use it.
  • A feedback mechanism, such as a central Team containing everyone, to collect comments and issues from organization users. If your organization has less than 2500 individuals, use a public channel in Teams. Otherwise, use a public group in Yammer.


Your organization is up and running and your change management strategy is in place to inform, train, and enable users to use SharePoint Online.

Step 2: Measure usage, manage satisfaction, and drive adoption

After rolling out to your entire organization, you must continue to employ your change management strategy to:

  • Have your leadership promote SharePoint Online as the primary tool for document storage and sharing and team, division, or organization-wide collaboration.
  • Encourage individuals to use it for business group, departmental, work, and project team collaboration and calendaring.

Here are some suggested activities:

  • See Office 365 adoption guidance to learn about general best practices for cloud service adoption.
  • See Office 365 activity reports to understand Office 365 service usage across your organization. If you aren’t an Office 365 global admin for your organization, ask someone who is a global admin to grant Reports Reader permissions to your user account so you can access activity reports.
  • Monitor your feedback venue (a public channel in a central Teams team or Yammer) for issues and feedback from individuals about their experiences with SharePoint Online. Address questions and issues as quickly as you can to prevent frustrated individuals and demonstrate support for the rollout.
  • Identify and nurture champions in each business group and highlight their accomplishments and best practices by using SharePoint Online. Reflect their successes out to the organization to show project success and adoption. Endorsement by technical leaders within a business group can exert a powerful influence over leaders and peers.


Your organization has adopted SharePoint Online as a service to support documentation storage and collaboration.

How Microsoft does Microsoft 365 Enterprise

To peek inside Microsoft and learn how the company deployed SharePoint Online, see SharePoint to the cloud: Learn how Microsoft ran its own migration.

Next steps

See these resources for the ongoing maintenance of SharePoint Online: