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9 Examples of a System Program

A system program, or systems program, is software that is primarily used for automation. This can be contrasted with application programs that are primarily used as a tool for people. In many cases, a system program has no user interface or its interface may be for administrators but not end-users. The following are illustrative examples of a systems program.

Operating System

An operating system is basic software that provides services to other software. An operating system has a user interface but it is still considered a system because the vast majority of its functionality is used by other software. For example, the operating system on a phone provides services to the apps on the phone.

Business Systems

The vast majority of systems are business software that automate things for governments, businesses and non-profit organizations. For example, a system at a bank that settles financial transactions with other banks.

Embedded Systems

An embedded systems is software inside a physical entity that operate and maintain the entity. It is common for devices, products, machines, vehicles and infrastructure to contain embedded systems. For example, a vehicle system that operates and monitors an engine. This provides services to the driver of the vehicle indirectly such that they driver may not be aware it exists.

Internet of Things

Internet of things is a class of embedded system that connects to internet systems. For example, a vehicle that uses a cloud service that runs from a data center to predict road conditions.

Artificial Intelligence

A class of system that learns and self-improves. For example, a weather prediction service that automatically develops and tests different prediction models.


The systems that control machines that have autonomous or semi-autonomous features meaning that they can dynamically respond to the real world.


Systems that provide foundational services or that control physical infrastructure. For example, an earthquake detection system that can automatically slow a high speed train based on detection of a distant earthquake that will soon arrive at a location.

Factory Automation

The systems that run a production line. For example, a system that automatically tests finished products for possible defects.


Ideally systems are used to automate work known as toil that humans find difficult, dangerous or uninspiring. For example, a web developer who uses scripts to do daily backups of data to a variety of remote locations.


Users often use systems indirectly. For example, you may use a banking app that requests services of systems on your behalf. In this case, you don't use the systems directly but they provide services to you through an application.
Overview: System Program
Definition (1)
Software that is primarily used for automation.
Definition (2)
Software that isn't used directly by end-users.
Also Known As
Systems Program
Systems Software
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