How CGI demonstrated $8.2M in ROI savings

By Upskilling Its Workforce to Meet Clients' Technology Needs


When more than 1,700 executives from your clients’ enterprises tell you the top emerging technologies they’re prioritizing in one-on-one interviews, they’ve given you more than a window into their business priorities and plans. They’ve gifted you with an actionable “a-ha moment” telling you the exact skills your employees will need to meet the clients’ most urgent digital needs.

This was the key takeaway for the learning and development team covering the CGI Asia Pacific Global Delivery Center of Excellence (APAC GDCoE) region, an IT services leader with more than 5,500 end-to-end services clients worldwide.

The data revealing clients’ needs came from an annual survey, Voice of Clients, that CGI produces to help its clients understand key industry trends that will impact their businesses. The top dozen technologies identified — which included AI, cloud, and DevOps — were certainly not new for a company that consults on, develops, and implements digital solutions for global enterprises.

However, the survey findings did reveal a challenge.

The skills required to succeed in these areas were constantly evolving and expanding, from coding languages to cloud-based tools. So even though CGI had built an award-winning global L&D program for its 77,000 employees, the need to constantly learn new technology skills was an ever-present necessity.


Global companies have quickened the pace of adopting digital technologies by several years amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recent McKinsey study.1 For CGI APAC, this acceleration was no mystery. Every day, its 15,000-strong workforce had to be job-ready to build new solutions for clients racing against the clock to execute on digital transformation goals.

And from a learning perspective, their mandate was clear. They needed to build a digitally-minded learning culture in which self-motivated employees were constantly upskilling.

Fortunately, CGI had been building for this moment at a worldwide scale.

In November 2019, just prior to the pandemic’s escalation, the company had decided to implement the Skillsoft Percipio immersive learning platform for its global workforce. Set to launch under the name of “CGI Academia” in just under five months, the Percipio platform had earned CGI’s trust for reasons including:

  • Percipio’s ability to enable learning in the flow of work, through various digital content types and durations, from micro-learning to curated role- and skill-based learning paths.
  • Its capacity to host CGI- and Skillsoft-authored content in thousands of key skill areas such as Azure, Cybersecurity, and Python, with certifications, bootcamps, and hands-on sandboxes.
  • Its features for engaging learners, such as personalized, AI-driven recommendations, digital badges, and tools for assigning and motivating learners to complete content.

As CGI’s global L&D team worked with Skillsoft to execute the April 2020 roll-out of CGI Academia, the APAC-based team designed a major, leadership-backed initiative to accelerate the upskilling of its workforce in India, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

Key to the initiative’s success was “Accelerate: Digital Foundations 101,” a self-paced, 40-hour blended learning path hosted on Skillsoft Percipio. Every one of the learning path’s courses, videos, sandboxes, and more was carefully curated to strengthen CGI’s APAC workforce’s capabilities in the 12 emerging technology fields prioritized by the company’s clients.

The L&D team felt confident its APAC workforce would respond well, in the wake of an earlier 300-employee pilot generating a 97% satisfaction rating. However, the stakes were high and the audience was much larger. They needed 15,000 employees — including developers, engineers, and project managers — to accomplish three things:

  1. Quickly log in and begin using Skillsoft Percipio
  2. Take all requisite courses in areas such as AI, cloud, and DevOps, leveraging Skillsoft’s vast library of technology and development content
  3. Think beyond their assigned courses and learn continuously, to prepare themselves for client projects that would begin in the coming months

Did the program succeed? Here's a snapshot of CGI APAC’s outcomes, generated in just over a year.

$8.2 million

demonstrated economic benefit


return on investment

9 out of 10

employee satisfaction rating


increased employee productivity


digital badges earned for course completions in areas such as AI, Cloud, and DevOps

Indeed, an L&D program that was built upon data-driven evidence of clients’ top emerging technology needs was well-positioned to generate benchmark-topping success metrics. But according to Anil Santhapuri, Director of CGI’s APAC-focused Learning and Development team, the intangible benefits were just as critical for the company’s ability to not only meet, but exceed, clients’ needs.

What do our customers have to say?

In partnership with Skillsoft, we’ve reinvigorated our APAC members’ passion for investing in their own skill development. The Skillsoft team listened and understood the urgency of our clients’ fast-evolving technology needs. And through Skillsoft Percipio’s intuitive features, and the job-relevant content it offers, we’re in a strong position to continuously serve those needs. Together, CGI and Skillsoft have built an upskilling engine fueled by a culture of self-motivated learners who help our clients innovate, transform, secure, and drive growth for their enterprises.

Anil Santhapuri

Director, APAC Learning and Development, CGI


CGI is proud to announce that its first graduating classes from the APAC upskilling initiative are being deployed to lead critical IT projects for clients whose success relies upon successful digital initiatives. These employees not only completed the Digital 101 learning path — they progressed to complete paths designed for higher levels of expertise. This includes a team in APAC’s Infrastructure business that is applying the latest in DevOps tools by upskilling members to upstream/downstream service delivery roles (ex: Platform Engineer, DevOps Engineer, Testing & Security and Release Engineer) supporting various clients from multiple industries to accelerate their cloud transformation agenda.


Has CGI’s story inspired you? Learn how you can unleash your organization’s edge by working with Skillsoft.

  • Skillsoft Percipio, the immersive learning platform designed to make learning easier, more accessible, and more effective.


CGI is among the largest IT and business consulting services firms in the world. We are insights-driven and outcome-based to help accelerate returns on your IT and business investments. In all we do, our goal is to build trusted relationships through client proximity, providing industry and technology expertise to help you meet the needs of your customers and citizens.

CGI at a glance

  • Founded 1976
  • 77,000 consultants and professionals
  • 400 locations worldwide
  • 5,500 end-to-end services clients globally
  • 50,000 clients through our IP-based solutions

1. “How COVID-19 has pushed companies over the technology tipping point—and transformed business forever,” McKinsey & Company, October 2020