In 1991, Radio Shack inserted an advertisement into local newspapers. In the ad, they marketed the latest cutting-edge technology — items such as a portable CD player, a stereo, a calculator, and camcorder. In 2014, writer Steve Cichon discovered the ad, and noted that nearly every single product advertised in the insert offered a capability in the iPhone.

At the time, you would’ve forked over $3,054 to buy all of those products from Radio Shack. In addition to the hefty price tag, there was also the matter of owning more than 10 different bulky devices to accomplish what a small, single device can do today. While our smartphones play music, do math, and capture video, they also perform other small miracles for us on a daily basis. We can see and talk to loved ones on the other side of the planet, summon strangers to give us a ride to the airport, get an answer to nearly any question, and accomplish nearly everything in between.

Convincing the general public to switch from spending a small fortune on a multitude of devices to spending less on one smaller device wasn’t a hard sell. As more organizations transform their IT to a service model, they can apply that valuable lesson: if you provide an experience end users love, they’ll gladly transition to the new technology while leaving the old to gather dust.

Our expectations are high, though. We demand our technology to “just work” all of the time. If there’s downtime, a difficult-to-use interface, or any type of bad experience, our love quickly turns to hate. It’s not enough that we hate a piece of technology, either. We tell our friends we hate it, too. A study found that a dissatisfied customer will tell nine to 15 other people about their experience, with some telling 20 or more!

When I talk to IT admins about delivering content collaboration services to employees and customers, these stats can make them break into a cold sweat. They invest their staff’s time and their organization’s money into implementing technology that gives them the control and oversight they need to keep their data secure.

They also need to deliver an end-user experience that will surpass even the highest expectations. So, let’s take a look at Jim, a hypothetical employee at an insurance company, and the thin line between his content collaboration love and content collaboration hate.

What Jim loves: getting documents everywhere

It’s six o’clock in the evening. Jim’s not done with tomorrow’s presentation, but he needs to pick up the kids, walk the dog, and make dinner. Jim wants the freedom to leave the office to take care of life, but he needs to be empowered to access his files on the device and network of his choice. If he can put the finishing touches on that presentation away from the office, he’ll love you forever.

What Jim hates: disjointed access to documents

There’s only one universally true statement about the cloud: everybody’s doing it differently. Strategies about what’s staying on-premises, what will go to the cloud, which cloud to use, and the rate of movement to the cloud vary from organization to organization.

Let me tell you something about Jim, though: He doesn’t care about IT’s cloud strategy. He just needs access to his documents. All he knows is that some documents are stored in network shares while others are in SharePoint. Access to some documents requires firing up the VPN, while accessing others doesn’t. Jim’s experience with his data is inconsistent and disjointed, and he hates it.

What Jim wants: a consistent, unified experience

Content Collaboration in Citrix Workspace provides a consistent experience with VPN-less access to documents, no matter where they’re stored. Learn more about Content Collaboration in Citrix Workspace.

What Jim loves: automating manual tasks

Jim works in the claims department of an insurance company. Every week, a pile of incident reports comes in from the field, and he spends a few hours manually inputting the data from those paper-based forms into their system. If IT gave Jim a tool that would automate and digitize that process, it would save him a few hours each week, and he could focus on higher-value work. Jim loves that.

What Jim hates: using email for feedback and approvals

Jim also regularly creates documents that he shares with others to get their feedback or an approval. He uses email as the tool to gather the feedback and approvals, and he hates it. When he emails a number of colleagues to get feedback, his entire inbox becomes deluged with their responses. Approvals become dicey because they need to be securely stored, and with IT trying to minimize storage costs, he doesn’t have much storage to spare.

What Jim wants: workflow automation

Content Collaboration in Citrix Workspace enables end users to create custom workflows to automate and digitize paper-based processes. Feedback and approval workflows get those processes out of email and into a centralized, auditable workspace for collaborators. With these tools, Jim will love that you’ve helped him save time, reduce errors, and let him focus on high-value activities.

What Jim loves: easily sharing files

Jim needs to share large files regularly. Because he’s in the claims department, he’s out in the field all the time. He works with four different devices, and he needs to share documents with the device that’s closest to him at that moment. Jim needs tools that let him share those files on all his devices. He also needs to be able to share easily with external parties that aren’t in his organization’s Active Directory, like customers, partners, and vendors. If he’s got those tools, he’s happy.

What Jim hates: cleaning out email folders

Jim’s a busy man. He sends large files regularly, but he doesn’t have time to clear his sent folder of the messages with large attachments. Unfortunately, this means getting the dreaded “You have exceeded the size limit on your mailbox” error message, forcing him to spend his valuable time deleting emails. Jim hates this.

What Jim wants: email plug-ins

With plug-ins for both Outlook and Gmail, users can auto-convert large attachments into shareable links. These secure links make it simple to share files, all while saving significant space in your email app.

By combining a number of technologies into a single, sleek end-user experience, smartphones set the end-user experience bar very high. Today, IT has the opportunity to provide the same transformative experience to end users. By aggregating content collaboration, apps, and data in a unified workspace, IT will deliver the right experience to the right user at the right time. It’s an experience they’ll be sure to love.

Learn more about Citrix Workspace.