Cloud Transformation: How Skillsoft Utilized its Learning Pathways to Upgrade its Capabilities

To build a cutting-edge learning platform, Skillsoft first had to upskill its own team.


In 2016, Skillsoft was at a critical juncture in its business, faced with competitive threats from a new breed of startups building newer learning experience platforms (LXP). At the same time, the technology landscape was fast evolving, with our customers looking to rapidly upskill their employees in newer technology stacks and cloud services. Against this background, the senior leadership at Skillsoft saw the need to build a modern AI-powered digital learning platform from the ground up using the latest technologies, delivering a world-class customer-grade user experience using cloud services.

As a long-time, trusted leader with decades of L&D expertise, Skillsoft was well-positioned to deliver its own state-of-the-art learning
platform to meet changing customer needs. But doing so would require a major shift away from Skillsoft’s self-hosted, on-premises legacy solution in favor of emerging cloud technologies. This required upskilling Skillsoft’s employees to adopt new business practices, better processes, agile methodologies, and the latest technologies, including developing expertise in Cloud Services such as AWS.

Murali Sastry, Skillsoft’s SVP of Engineering and Cloud Operations, emphasizes the necessity of broad-reaching upskilling within their
teams. “Our enhancement efforts spanned numerous areas,” he explains. “Mastering new programming languages and process management, and revolutionizing our approach to platform hosting – upskilling was essential in every facet of our operations.”

In short, Skillsoft needed to transform its workforce before it could create a learning platform that empowered other companies to transform theirs.


Skillsoft’s system administrators and software engineers needed to upskill in both technical and power skills to build a brand-new platform from the ground up.

“In order to drive our agile transformation and fully leverage the power of the Cloud, it was imperative that we adopted a modern technology stack, specifically around AWS, and ensure its uniform application across our entire organization,” Sastry elaborates. “Subsequently, the focus was on redefining the skill sets of our existing team members, enabling them to contribute significantly and efficiently with this updated technological paradigm.”

It was a tall order — but Skillsoft’s team members had a leg up. They could use Skillsoft’s expansive content assets across technology and leadership, certification prep courses, and other learning experiences to upskill and reskill quickly. That’s exactly what they did, focusing on three domains:

  • SHIFTING TO FULL-STACK DEVELOPMENT: Instead of splitting development duties between front-end and backend, we upskilled all our engineers to full-stack developers through adoption of newer frameworks, programming languages and developing standards around a shared open-source development model.
  • EMBRACING THE CLOUD: While Skillsoft’s hosted its legacy learning platform “Skillport” on-premises, the new platform “Percipio” would be built completely in the cloud using Amazon Web Services (AWS). This meant that system administrators who were historically experts in managing the on-prem data centers had to become AWS experts. In order to ensure they had the right level of expertise, team members made use of Skillsoft’s AWS certification prep courses.
  • ADOPTING A DEVOPS MODEL: Skillsoft switched from a waterfall development process, which operated on 6–12-month timelines, to an Agile model where developers could push out new code and features on demand. That meant reskilling project managers into Scrum masters and Agile Coaches.


5 Million

in cost savings


AWS Certifications


higher employee retention


savings in recruiting costs


I cannot stress the importance of continuous learning enough. Tremendous value is unleashed by upskilling and reskilling teams. The tech landscape, especially areas like Cloud, Cybersecurity, and Gen AI, evolves at an astonishing pace. Consistent upskilling is the key to staying ahead. This ethos is at the core of our mission at Skillsoft, and we pride ourselves on making a significant impact to our clients’ success.




“Initially, we considered enlisting consultants and vendors to help us craft our modern platform using cloud centric service based infrastructure. However, we quickly recognized the financial implications of this strategy, involving substantial costs in software engineering recruitment, cloud consulting fees, and vendor-related expenses,” Sastry elaborates. “In light of this, we understood the inherent potential in our existing talent pool and redirected our approach toward upskilling our workforce. We focused on selective recruitment of a limited number of highly specialized individuals, thereby ensuring a balance between cost-efficiency and a potent, agile cloud transformation leading to savings upwards of $5M.” Investment in our employees’ skills and career growth led to a 75% increase in employee retention, 90% savings in recruiting costs, and faster execution of projects.

The technology organization used its learning content to fuel an internal workforce transformation. The company’s systems and software engineers mastered cloud technology and security, full-stack development, and Agile methodologies. In fact, the cloud operations team now holds a combined total of 100+ AWS certifications.

This new expertise enabled the team to build and launch Skillsoft Percipio, an AI powered, personalized, immersive, accessible learning platform that delivers a faster, more agile, consumer-grade user experience. In the legacy platform, it could take longer than a month for new learning content to go live. Now, it only takes minutes. Similarly, engineers can consistently push out new platform capabilities on demand. And thanks to extensive Skillsoft security training, engineers earned coveted FedRAMP authorization for the new platform. Investing in internal resources proved to be more sustainable and led to future operation efficiencies in cost, scalability, and resilience, and would eventually allow Skillsoft to harness the potential of emerging technologies like generative AI.

"The transformation we went through mirrors what our customers undergo, and leverage our learning platform for”,” Sastry says. “We transformed our people, process and culture, - and we did it all with the organization we already had.”


Skillsoft (NYSE: SKIL) delivers transformative learning experiences that propel organizationsand people to grow together. The Company partners with enterprise organizations and serves a global community of learners to prepare today’s employees for tomorrow’s economy. With Skillsoft, customers gain access to blended, multimodal learning experiences that do more than build skills, they grow a more capable, adaptive, and engaged workforce. Through a portfolio of best-in-class content, a platform that is personalized and connected to customer needs, world-class tech and a broad ecosystem of partners, Skillsoft drives continuous growth and performance for employees and their organizations by overcoming critical skill gaps and unlocking human potential. Learn more at