Recently, Rao et al. (2004) introduced an alternative measure of uncertainty known as the cumulative residual entropy (CRE). It is based on the survival (reliability) function F̅ instead of the probability density function f used in classical Shannon entropy. In reliability based system design, the performance characteristics of the coherent systems are of great importance. Accordingly, in this paper, we study the CRE for coherent and mixed systems when the component lifetimes are identically distributed. Bounds for the CRE of the system lifetime are obtained. We use these results to propose a measure to study if a system is close to series and parallel systems of the same size. Our results suggest that the CRE can be viewed as an alternative entropy (dispersion) measure to classical Shannon entropy.