When traditional application maintenance won't work anymore

When talking to some pepple within IT that are working in computer intensive businesses like Telecom and Finance & Insurance there is a common theme. 

Their challenge is both the cost of making changes to old legacy systems as well as the time to develop and implement those changes. The complexity increases gradually year from year and the business side demands even more flexibility and shorter lead time.

Off-shore outsourcing started more than ten years ago and it have helped to reduce the maintance cost, but it have somehow come to an end from a cost-cutting perspective due to need for skilled staff. 

Migration of old legacy is often very costly and often take long time to finalize. The question is therefore if It's possible to work with application management in another way for those systems that have different business demands and are differentiating from a customer perspective.

I think so, but the question is how? Let's continue this discussion and see if we can improve application management in some ways.