Integrated refers to two or more components merging together into a single system. Integrated comes from the Latin word integer, meaning whole. While the term has a singular meaning- components designed to function as one unit-it has multiple applications in the IT field. It could describe hardware, software, or the combination of both.

Integrated hardware

Integrated hardware is when a hardware device is combined into another device. For example, several motherboards have an integrated network card, video card, or sound card. These devices can be enabled and disabled from the CMOS or by using a jumper or DIP switch on the motherboard.

Integrated hardware components can save space and reduce manufacturing costs, but it may also limit performance. Another example of integrated hardware is a laptop with integrated graphic chips that are built into the motherboard. And in some cases, the graphics processor is integrated directly into the CPU.

Integrated software

Integrated software is a collection of software that combines several applications in one program, typically providing at least word processing, spreadsheet, and database management functionality. It’s most commonly used in personal computers where the applications are grouped together in the form of a suite and can be accessed via a common launching pad. Popular examples of integrated software include Adobe InDesign and Microsoft Office.

Integrated software systems offer such advantages:

  • Low cost compared to buying each application separately
  • A consistent interface from one application to another
  • Ability to share information between applications
  • Ideal for personal or professional use


Similarly, integration in the IT field refers to the connection of data, applications, APIs, and devices across an organization. Integration not only connects, but also adds value through new functionalities provided by connecting different systems’ functions. An example would be Apache Kafka, an open source platform that allows users to integrate streams of data with applications.

Application integration is the merging and optimization of data and workflows between two disparate software applications. It allows two applications, each designed for its own specific purpose, to work together. This allows businesses to organize a variety of functions across their entire infrastructures. It reduces redundancy and data duplication. For example, a digital store using Shopify needs to integrate with an ERP application to ensure e-commerce data communicates with fulfillment processes.


Related link

Webopedia Staff
Webopedia Staff
Since 1995, more than 100 tech experts and researchers have kept Webopedia’s definitions, articles, and study guides up to date. For more information on current editorial staff, please visit our About page.

Top Articles

List of Windows Operating System Versions & History [In Order]

The Windows operating system (Windows OS) refers to a family of operating systems developed by Microsoft Corporation. We look at the history of Windows...

How to Create a Website Shortcut on Your Desktop

Website Shortcut on Your Desktop reviewed by Web Webster   This Webopedia guide will show you how to create a website shortcut on your desktop using...

What are the Five Generations of Computers? (1st to 5th)

Reviewed by Web Webster Each generation of computer has brought significant advances in speed and power to computing tasks. Learn about each of the...

Hotmail [Outlook] Email Accounts

Launched in 1996, Hotmail was one of the first public webmail services that could be accessed from any web browser. At its peak in...

XiaoBa Ransomware

XiaoBa is a type of file-encrypting ransomware that runs on Windows and encodes...

Team Management Software

Team management software is a type of organizational software that supports remote team...

Kaseya Ransomware Attack

The 2021 ransomware cyberattack on U.S.-based software solutions company, Kaseya, is known as...