Most folks don't understand what "Home Automation" is compared to the more common "Remote Control". Apps like Alexa, Google Voice, Siri, and many others are really "Remote Control".
Here's an easy project that suggests what "Automation" is.
My house is heated and cooled via Geothermal. It uses my well pump to bring water to the heating system where BTUs are extracted (in the winter) and transferred to the forced air system.
The Water Softener is scheduled to flush and cleanse it's resin once a day. It uses the same well water.
The problem is the Geothermal consumes lots of water, reducing the water pressure for the softener. So, the solution is to shut off the HVAC system a few minutes before the softener is schedule to rinse. This gives the well pump enough time to get to full pressure to properly clean the resin. I then turn the HVAC system back on (under thermostat control) post when the softener's rinse cycle should be complete.
I am currently using an EcoBee thermostat with myServer driver. I simply shut the system off via an Ecobee command in synch with the softener's needs within myServer's Scheduled Tasks in the middle of the night in the summer where HVAC cooling isn't as needed.
That wouldn't be eloquently done with Alexa