The global market for software-defined networking solutions is expected to hit $3.52 billion by 2018, according to a new study.

Figures from Transparency Market Research estimate the sector is set for a compound annual growth rate of 61.5 percent between 2012 and 2018, as more companies come to recognize the benefits of the technology.

Demands for more efficient infrastructure and mobility will drive the market, according to analysts. They speculate the increasing adoption of cloud-based infrastructure to manage storage, processing and networking, as well as the trend toward Bring Your Own Device solutions, presents organizations with a major opportunity in this area.

The cloud offers businesses agility, flexibility, manageability and programmability and will continue to be a top priority for enterprise.

“In terms of solutions, cloud provisioning and orchestration dominates the global SDN market,” the report’s authors wrote. “It is also expected to be the fastest growing solution as it helps to design, optimize, secure, and monitor the network.”

SDN switching made up the second largest revenue share of the SDN market in 2012. This is the first layer of SDN network infrastructure and its growth is an indicator that there are many companies coming to SDN for the first time that want the ability to set up solutions within their enterprises.

North America will likely be the biggest region for SDN technology, in part due to a high degree of standardization. Asia-Pacific will be the fastest-growing region, due strong interest in Bring Your Own Device solutions from key territories such as China, India and Australia.

However, it may not be clear sailing for the SDN market, as there is still some way to go before it can be described as a mature technology.

There remains a high level of fragmentation in the sector, with multiple vendors across different categories, including hardware providers, software developers and service providers.