While Software‐defined networks (SDN) is still a term used in many ways (eg. - "Ericsson CTO: Let's Redefine SDN" - here), and maybe because of that, CTOs of major equipment vendors and operators feel it needs a "strategic vision" and standardization.
Members of the ITU CTO Meeting forum (Cisco Systems, Ericsson, Etisalat, Fujitsu, Huawei, KDDI, NEC, NSN, NTT, Orange FT, RIM, Telecom Italia, Telkom SA, Verizon and the ITU - see names here) identified SDN as a ".. potential means to allow carrier networks to develop and deploy new services with great speed and flexibility. SDN was recognized as an innovative and perhaps also disruptive technology. SDN enables programmable interfaces to a network’s control and data planes, including capabilities such as network resource virtualization and network resource orchestration that can potentially optimize the use of network resources".
"CTOs noted ITU-T’s current work and standards on network virtualization frameworks and architectures, and requested that ITU-T continue exploring the applications of SDN in access networks, mobile backhaul, broadband network gateways, metro networks, and optical transport networks".