And I think the main gain of automation is not "something fancy" but a "combination of sensible features"
For example, we had mechanical thermostats and switches to control the air conditioning in our offices, and mechanical thermostats to control the heating. They were replaced with small 2-inch touch screens to control both.
The "control itself" is worse. Instead of turning the thermostat and flipping a switch in under a second you have a screen with some "lag" so adjusting anything. But after you set up your "wished for" temperature you don't really have to use the control any more.
The thing starts heating / cooling up to "wish themperature" when the office ours start, and goes to "night mode" where it doesn't cool or heat as far after noon if nobody has triggered the motion sensor in the office for over an hour. it also goes into "night mode" when the alarm system is engaged. Engaging the alarm system also switches off all lights in the building.
A friend did some "home automation" back in the 1980s in his flat with switches and relays to control the lights and electric shutters . The main feature was a panel to switch all ten lights in the flat on and of beside the main entrance, including a "all lights off" button. and a "Close/Open all shutters" button. That was a sensible feature, but it was very involved since he had to pull wires from all switches and all actuators to a central switching cabinet. The same sensible automation these days could be done simpler and cheaper with a bus system. But STILL without any "smart-devices" in the internet-sense involved.