IT Services Agreements or Block Hours of Support: Which Solution Works Best for Small Businesses?


"Managed Service" and "Block Hour Support" are two popular types of IT support for businesses. Here, we'll explore their differences as well as their advantages and disadvantages before helping you decide which will best suit your company.

What Is Block Hours Support (Block Hours)?

Block hours support is when you prepay one provider for certain services and amounts; such as hours in a block, or dollar amounts.

What are the advantages of block hours support?

Block hours of support is often more cost-effective than hiring your own staff, and experts in various fields are readily available to meet any requests quickly and efficiently. Furthermore, purchasing multiple hours at once could result in discounted pricing options.

Block-hour agreements allow you to pay only for what you use. By only maintaining infrastructure and personnel when required, a block-hours agreement enables you to save money by only maintaining what's necessary at any given time; saving you from having a cupboard full of expensive hardware you thought you might need or staff who are underutilized.

What are the disadvantages of block hours support?

Block hours support, or "break/fix service", involves having your provider only intervene if there is an actual issue requiring their involvement - so wait until something arises before calling your provider.

Continuous monitoring and management provide benefits that prevent problems from emerging; this is especially relevant to cybersecurity issues, where prevention is preferable to trying to fix an existing issue.

Importantly, each IT setup is different, making it easier to find assistance from someone familiar with your set-up. A block-hours support provider cannot always ensure you will get the same or most suitable technician to complete your task; as a result, service may be slower or less effective compared with comprehensive approaches.

Waiting too long to address an issue could result in even more downtime; your provider could take hours or days to respond and fix your problem, and so taking proactive measures may be necessary if time is of the essence.

What Are the Advantages of Managed Services Agreement (MSA)?

A managed services agreement provides businesses with more options in terms of services provided; rather than only reacting when problems arise, your provider could monitor and manage processes like cybersecurity proactively.

You may also opt for more "premium services", including comprehensive management or strategic planning.

What Are the Downsides of Managed Services Agreements (MSAs)?

A key drawback of Managed Services Agreements (MSAs) is cost: you will incur a fixed monthly fee whether or not you utilize their services. While larger organizations often utilize multiple managed services agreements at once, smaller businesses could find that contracting managed services is overkill and costs them extra money.

What's the ideal solution for my company?

For smaller or simpler operations that can afford downtime for any major problems that arise, block hours support could be the ideal option.

Premium services can help large organizations reduce operational expenses.

Need help evaluating your IT outsourcing requirements? Call NuWave IT Consultants today on (404) 932 5940, or send an email to